nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2018‒04‒02
three papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Crowdfunding Scientific Research By Henry Sauermann; Chiara Franzoni; Kourosh Shafi
  2. A competitive framework for government’s engagement of researchers By Christopher Heard; Flavio M. Menezes
  3. Rationales for technology-specific RES support: the impaired Brazilian solar expansion By Gustavo Andreão; Michelle Hallacka; Miguel Vazqueza;

  1. By: Henry Sauermann; Chiara Franzoni; Kourosh Shafi
    Abstract: Crowdfunding may provide much-needed financial resources, yet there is little systematic evidence on the potential of crowdfunding for scientific research. We first briefly review prior research on crowdfunding and give an overview of dedicated platforms for crowdfunding research. We then analyze data from over 700 campaigns on the largest dedicated platform, Our descriptive analysis provides insights regarding the creators seeking funding, the projects they are seeking funding for, and the campaigns themselves. We then examine how these characteristics relate to fundraising success. The findings highlight important differences between crowdfunding and traditional funding mechanisms for research, including high use by students and other junior investigators but also relatively small project size. Junior investigators are more likely to succeed than senior scientists, and women have higher success rates than men. Conventional signals of quality - including scientists' prior publications - have no relationship with funding success, suggesting that the crowd applies different decision criteria than traditional funding agencies. Our results highlight significant opportunities for crowdfunding in the context of science while also pointing towards unique challenges. We relate our findings to research on the economics of science and on crowdfunding, and we discuss connections with other emerging mechanisms to involve the public in scientific research.
    JEL: I23 O31 O32
    Date: 2018–03
  2. By: Christopher Heard (School of Economics, The University of Queensland); Flavio M. Menezes (School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: This article identifies a range of contestable and transparent mechanisms that Australian government agencies (including departments) may use to engage academic consultants and supporting research. It also provides guidance on deciding which mechanisms (such as tenders, calls for proposals or hybrid approaches) are most appropriate in specific circumstances. The key conclusion is that the selection of a mechanism involves trade-offs, and the best choice will likely depend on the research topic, the nature of the project, and the level of expertise within the agency.
    Keywords: Research engagement; procurement; contestability.
    JEL: H83
    Date: 2018–02–28
  3. By: Gustavo Andreão; Michelle Hallacka; Miguel Vazqueza;
    Abstract: Renewable energy promotion mechanisms have two main dimensions: enhancing project revenue and decreasing costs. Capital costs are one of the most relevant. Brazil is used as case study. Financial tools intertwined with industrial policy were applied: first to successfully promote wind generation, and then for solar photovoltaic (PV). The tools applied for wind were transposed to solar PV. Nevertheless, this has led to important challenges caused by the maladaptation of incentives to the solar PV industry specificities (e.g. high effort of innovation, lower transportation costs, and high importance of soft costs). We show how the use of similar financing support mechanism indistinctly for renewable sources (such as solar and wind) can create actual disincentives. We conclude that the financing mechanism has been fundamental for the viability of renewable energy projects, especially in countries without mature capital markets, where most of the infrastructure has received some sort of government financing support. The design of this mechanism needs to take into account the technological specificities and the national characteristics in order to successfully insert a certain renewable source in a determined country. The framework developed can be applied to other study cases.
    Keywords: Financing, Development Bank, RES-E, Wind, Solar, Mechanism design.
    JEL: D02 D82 G20 L94 O33 Q42
    Date: 2017

This nep-ppm issue is ©2018 by Arvi Kuura. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.