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Faculty & Research


Philip M. Parker

Professor of Marketing

INSEAD Chaired Professor of Management Science


Additional Information
Research Areas
  • Economic Growth
  • Globalisation
  • International Strategy
  • Collusion
  • Diffusion
  • Forecasting
  • Telecommunications
Teaching Areas
  • Global Strategy
  • Telecommunications Strategy
Industry Sectors
  • Telecommunication Services


Philip M. Parker is a Professor of Marketing at INSEAD and the INSEAD Chaired Professor of Management Science. Before joining INSEAD, he was a Professor of International Strategy and Economics at the University of California, San Diego. He has taught at Harvard University, MIT, Stanford University, and UCLA, and delivered courses in various countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, North America, and Europe. He has degrees in Finance and Economics, and a PhD from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

He is an economist and his research explores why existing theories governing macroeconomic growth and firm level competition yield unreliable forecasts of actual market outcomes. He introduced the idea that physical sciences (physics and physiology) should be directly integrated into macroeconomics. His contrarian research concludes that certain economic development measures, such as income per capita, can dramatically exaggerate the levels of poverty in a country, but also be poor indicators of future economic growth. Some of his work was published in his book Marketing Management: A Strategic Decision-Making Approach and Physioeconomics: The Basis for Long-Run Economic Growth (MIT Press, 2000) in which he forecasts global economic and demographic trends to the year 2100. He argues that critical economic axioms violate laws of physics and shows that convergence across nations is unlikely, if not impossible, in the long run. Free markets will, however, allow countries to converge to similar levels of well-being across individuals, but at dramatically different levels of income-based consumption (i.e. low-income countries may remain so, but will not be “poorer” than high-income countries) provided that citizens are given economic liberty. Wealth redistribution, from “richer” countries to “poorer” countries, in these cases, is not justified for the sake of “poverty reduction”, and may actually increase poverty.

He has also studied how firms generate market inefficiencies by relying on common forms of information asymmetry (creating markets for “sweet lemons” where low-quality products drive higher-quality products from the market, at higher prices). His work also debunks the notion that allowing more competitors in regulated markets (e.g. telecommunications) will lead to competition if remaining firms are allowed to cross-own or vertically integrate. His work has appeared in the leading journals including Rand Journal of Economics and the International Journal of Industrial Organization.

In March 1998, after directing a workshop for the World Bank which considered illiteracy, he launched a private initiative dubbed the “K to 12 +2 project”. One aspect of this problem is the lack of educational materials in local languages (the smaller the language in population, the less likely the publishing industry will find it profitable to serve such communities, leaving some 1000 written languages without basic textbooks). Utilising the automated authoring processes which he pioneered, his international business publications have funded a variety of multilingual educational materials including a free online multilingual dictionary, PC games, videos, and ebooks. He applied this approach to support projects sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation creating thousands of factsheets (using meta-analysis) on tropical plants, and currently works on automated rural radio scripts, call center materials serving smallholder farmers, and SMS content engines collaborating with the GSM Association, the Grameen Foundation, and Farm Radio International in Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, and India, among other developing countries. As a hobby, he applied the graph theory to automatically author hundreds of thousands of didactic poems (limericks, sonnets, haiku, acrostics, etc.) and is working on fiction and academic studies.'

Case Studies