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On December 1, 2017, PJ commented on Fall Without Pumpkin Spice Lattes? It Could Happen :

SEA this is a well-researched and articulated article! I think this is especially important for Starbucks as they brand themselves as a fair-trade coffee bean chain. This is now part of their customer promise. This creates operational constraints as they have a more limited network of suppliers (that are certified fair-trade) in their supply chain compared to other coffee retailers. [1]

I believe this mean they need to focus even more on how to navigate climate change given their more limited supply chain flexibility. It’ll be important for them to proactively work with the coffee bean farmers to mitigate the impacts of climate change and potentially even help them migrate to a better location.

PS I drink about one latte a year and it’s the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (decaf!) so I really hope they can sustain their supply chain!
[1] Macdonald, Kate. 2007. “Globalising Justice Within Coffee Supply Chains? Fair Trade, Starbucks And The Transformation Of Supply Chain Governance”. Third World Quarterly 28 (4): 793-812. doi:10.1080/01436590701336663.


Francois, this is great perspective!

I think people often think and talk about protectionism in terms of physical goods but I agree there’s a huge impact on intellectual capital! I think it’s quite smart for Oxford to be reaching out to other foreign students, at the same time they will face a challenge of making sure there’s availability of work visas for students after graduation. In the past with EU students, this was a non-issue as they already had the right to work in the UK but if they’re now targeting more Americans and Canadians prospective students that won’t be the case! This will be critical for foreign students that think about Oxford as an entryway to a career in the UK. [1]

[1] Scheve, Kenneth F., and Matthew J. Slaughter. 2001. “Labor Market Competition And Individual Preferences Over Immigration Policy”. Review Of Economics And Statistics 83 (1): 133-145. doi:10.1162/003465301750160108.

On December 1, 2017, PJ commented on How Monsanto Is Weathering Climate Change :

Hi Tess, this is a great, well researched write-up! I found it really interesting that climate change will actually be positive for certain crop production [1] – it really creates some winners and losers for Monsanto’s product lines and customers. The oats farmers in unaffected areas will likely benefit from reduced overall supply leading to rising prices. While those in wheat production may both get greater yield and a glut additional wheat supply!

It may be really important for Monsanto to think about choosing which product lines to expand and abandon as climate change impact the economics of different crops and therefore farmers’ willingness to pay for higher yielding seed. The higher yield enabled by GMO will certainly be in much greater need in the hardest hit corps such as oat!

[1] Beth Kowitt, “The Paradox of American Farmers and Climate Change,” Fortune, June 29, 2016, http://fortune.com/2016/06/29/monsanto-farmers-climate-change/, accessed November 2017.


Caty, this was really well researched and analyzed, I really enjoyed reading it! I agree that this will be really important to delivering on Marriott’s customer promise to its core business customers of convenience, mass customization and expediency! I’ve definitely been the person in your example – arriving past midnight on a transatlantic flight and going straight to my hotel room with the Apple digital key! It’s amazing how saving 10 minutes feels when you’re already tired!

It also opens up the broader question about the jobs that get automated out of the hotel business. It will certainly leave Marriott open to politically implications. AirBnB’s is already writing open letters to Marriott’s CEO noting “I was not surprised that you are unwilling and unable to defend your industry’s longstanding commitment to price gouging consumers, depressing wages and replacing workers with robots.”[1]

It’ll be an interesting leading indicator to what Uber will face when they rollout autonomous cars!

(1) Bosa, D. (2017). Airbnb lashes out at Marriott as clash between Silicon Valley and the hotel industry intensifies. [online] CNBC. Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/20/airbnb-wrote-a-letter-to-marriott-claiming-hotel-fleeces-taxpayers.html [Accessed 2 Dec. 2017].


This is a really interesting concept, I wonder how this would impact prices on the wine collector’s market – I imagine it could reduce the overall supply of collector wine (taking some of the fake wine off the market) and increase prices (less buyer uncertainty / risk so more willingness to pay). There could also arise an illicit secondary market of authenticated but empty wine bottles that could be fraudulently rebottled and sold.

Beyond fraud, I’m excited to see if collectors will be able to use data analytics to determine “corked” wine. Corked wine is a huge problem with older wines where it’s unclear if the wine is spoiled [1] – this often depends on historical storage conditions, the corking of the vintage and quality of the wine itself.

(1) Chatonnet, P., Bonnet, S., Boutou, S. and Labadie, M. (2004). Identification and Responsibility of 2,4,6-Tribromoanisole in Musty, Corked Odors in Wine. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 52(5), pp.1255-1262.


Eleonora, I really liked your analysis! I’m very concerned about the lost efficiencies in the automotive supply chain due to these protectionist policies due to loss of comparative advantage. Comparative advantage is important because even if companies in one country are more efficient producers in every part of the supply chain than another country, they will more efficient to a greater degree in certain segments. [1] This means these countries have the ability to specialize in the areas where they have the most advantage and therefore lower overall supply chain costs. Global trade also creates flexibility in the supply chain by creating multiple competitors in areas that would otherwise lead to a natural national monopoly or oligopoly. Net net, I believe isolationism in this case will lead to more expensive (or lower quality) cars for American consumers due to higher supply chain costs.

[1] Hunt, Shelby D., and Donna F. Davis. 2012. “Grounding Supply Chain Management In Resource-Advantage Theory: In Defense Of A Resource-Based View Of The Firm”. Journal Of Supply Chain Management 48 (2): 14-20. doi:10.1111/j.1745-493x.2012.03266.x.