Know when to fold ‘em: An empirical description of risk management in public research funding
بدانید چه موقع برابر شوید: شرح تجربی مدیریت ریسک در بودجه تحقیق عمومی-2020
Public research funding programs typically make grants with minimal intervention by program staff, rather than using a hands-on approach to project management, which is more common in the private sector. In contrast, program staff at the US Department of Energys Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) are given a set of real options with which to manage funded projects: abandon, contract or expand project budgets or timelines. Using internal data from ARPA-E, we show that active project management enables risk mitigation across a portfolio of research projects. We find that program staff modify projects frequently, especially project timelines, and these changes are more sensitive to poor performance than to strong performance. We also find that projects with a shortened timeline or reduced budget are less likely to generate short-term research outputs, compared to those of ultimately similar size. This evidence suggests that the practice of active project management, when combined with high upfront risk tolerance, can be used to enhance the productivity of missionoriented public research funding.
Keywords: R&D funding | Project management | Real options | Managerial flexibility
Capacity investment under uncertainty: The effect of volume flexibility
سرمایه گذاری روی ظرفیت تحت عدم قطعیت: تاثیر انعطاف پذیری حجم-2018
Real option theory is a central tool in todays investment theory as it integrates uncertainty and managerial flexibility in the analysis and valuation of investment projects. This paper studies the optimal time and size of investment for a monopolistic firm under demand uncertainty and volume flexibility. In our modeling framework, demand is random and the firm first decides the optimal time and size of the production process. After entry, the firm adjusts continuously production volume to match the observed demand. Volume flexibility comes at a cost which depends on both the current output and the established capacity. We study two different models of volume flexibility: Downside volume flexibility allows the firms to produce any quantity below the installed capacity; Upside volume flexibility allows to expand production above the firms capacity size. In both cases, the option to temporary suspend production is not given a priori, but it is part of the firms optimal choice. With this feature, the model provides conclusions that contrast some of the most recent theoretical findings on the same subject. We find that an increase of the degree of downside volume flexibility makes the firm willing to invest earlier in a larger plant. We also show that downside volume flexibility reduces the utilization rates, especially in highly uncertain markets. Upside volume flexibility has the joint effect of reducing the size of the investment and the investment threshold at which the firm installs capacity. The utilization rates are significantly higher compared to the case of downside volume flexibility only, and there is an increasing relationship between increased upside flexibility and utilization rates.
keywords: Real options |Capacity investments |Volume flexibility