Christian Lorentzen

Analysis of Angola: Probability of Falling Victim to the Resource Curse

angola2A research paper by Thunderbird students Christian Lorentzen and Anthony Petrunin

Executive Summary: To determine whether Angola is at risk of falling victim to the resource curse we chose to implement a framework developed by Paul Stevens and Evelyn Dietsche (Stevens and Dietsche, 2008) based on their careful study of leading academic writings on causes of the resource curse. The framework employs three main factors to determine whether a country is likely to experience the resource curse:
1) Is there the existence of historic well-functioning institutions already in place?•Considering that Angola’s present leadership came to power through a civil war in which the institutions left by the Portuguese were destroyed and new centralized systems were created, there is risk that Angola’s leadership is not dependent on a system that would lead them to make decisions in the best interest of the country.
2) Is the relative value of the resource rent high or low?•Angola is dependent on high-rent oil exports. The oil royalties are high enough to satisfy the national budget without the necessity of additional revenue streams. As a result the leaders lack motivation and incentive to develop other sectors of the economy.
3) Is the natural resource harvested across large or small geographic areas?•Oil has a small geographical footprint that does not require local support systems or labor. Therefore Angola’s dependence on oil is unlikely to create cluster economies.
By analyzing these three questions in the context of modern day Angola, we came to the conclusion that Angola is at a high risk of becoming a resource cursed country.

OkCupid & A Branding Strategy

okcupid-matchA corporate marketing article by Thunderbird students Noah Emery, Kate Gillette, Megan Groves, Roger Li, Christian Lorentzen, Ullas Rameshappa and Amanda Roberson

Executive Summary: In this paper, we will provide an overview of the existing and growing online dating market as it pertains to the United States. Focusing on two brands, (Match) and OkCupid, we will explore options for Interactive Corporation, the holding company for both dating sites, to simultaneously grow the online dating market and increase visibility and profitability of newly acquired OkCupid, a much younger brand. After analysis of product, promotion, placement and pricing as well as segmentation, targeting and positioning of each brand, we recommend the following: a dual-branding strategy that capitalizes on Match’s industry experience in order to grow the market and maximize OkCupid’s potential value.

Sempra Energy gives the electric car a second chance

Sempra Energy global strategyBy Helen Akanisi, Sam Brien, Fikre Gurja, Christian Lorentzen and Jonathan Norberg

In 2006 a popular documentary asked, “Who killed the electric car?” A few years from now when documentaries are asking, “Who brought the electric car back to life?” one of the names tossed around might very well be Southern California’s Sempra Energy. Sempra, a Fortune 500 company and parent to the major electric and natural gas utilities in San Diego and Southern Orange County and a major utilities player throughout the Southwest, has strategically positioned itself in recent months to potentially be a leader in the rolling out of the “smart grid” and electric vehicle (EV) charging station infrastructure which are key to giving new life to a technological dream pronounced dead only a few years ago. Whether or not Sempra is remembered as a savior of the electric car or just another failed attempt in that direction will depend on whether they are able to overcome the technical and financial hurdles that have made the electric car an elusive goal.

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