Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: EeB-05-2015 | Award Amount: 5.73M | Year: 2015
NewTREND seeks to improve the energy efficiency of the existing European building stock and to improve the current renovation rate by developing a new participatory integrated design methodology targeted to the energy retrofit of buildings and neighbourhoods, establishing energy performance as a key component of refurbishments. The methodology will foster collaboration among stakeholders in the value chain, engaging occupants and building users and supporting all the refurbishment phases through the whole life cycle of the renovation. The methodology will be supported by an online platform to ease collaborative design, which will play the role of exchanging information and facilitating dialogue between the different stakeholders involved in the retrofit process. It will store all the information useful to the design of the retrofit intervention in a cloud based interoperable data exchange server, i.e. the District Information Model server, which has the ability to and export multiple file formats thanks to semantic web technologies. A Data Manager tool will be developed to guide the designers in the data collection phase, which might be a complex task for retrofit projects where information and drawings are scattered or even not available. The NewTREND platform will be a tool for collaborative design allowing evaluation of different design options at both building and district level through dynamic simulations via a Simulation & Design Hub. Design options, including district schemes and shared renewables will be presented to the design team, together with available financing schemes and applicable business models, in a library which will build on lessons from past and ongoing R&D projects. The NewTREND methodology and tools will be validated in three real refurbishment projects in Hungary, Finland and Spain where the involvement of all the stakeholders in the design .process, will be evaluated and specific activities will be dedicated to inhabitants and users
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: EeB.ENV.2013.6.3-4 | Award Amount: 4.05M | Year: 2013
About 40% of overall energy consumption in Europe is related to the building sector and over 50% of all materials extracted from earth are transformed into construction materials and products. With more than 70% of the building stock built before the first energy crisis (1970s), energy retrofitting of buildings is envisaged as the most promising strategy to reach EUs 20-20-20 targets. However, the traditional approach to the building energy efficient retrofitting brings poor results in relation to the urban sustainability, resource efficiency and economic return. Although the district retrofitting approach is frequently the most sustainable and cost-effective, the complexity of decision making grows exponentially when the intervention targets larger scale, even more when considering the fragmentation of the construction sector (many stakeholders, most of them SMEs). Furthermore, to support the necessary building-retrofitting market mobilization in Europe to fulfill EU-targets in 2020 and 2050, new business models and financial supporting tools need to be developed. FASUDIR will provide an Integrated Decision Support Tool (IDST) based on a new methodology supported by a software tool that will help decision makers to select the best energy retrofitting strategy to increase the sustainability of the whole district. FASUDIRs IDST will incorporate key actors and relevant networks at the district scale and the entire value chain, and will ensure that new technologies for energy and resource efficient retrofitting are incorporated, especially those emerging from SMEs. FASUDIR takes advantage of the economies of scales and the variety of stakeholders when scaling up to the district, giving more opportunities for the development of new business and financial models with high impact in the economy. The developed methodology and software tool will be validated in three diverse urban areas, including a variety of historical periods.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.76M | Year: 2011
Consumer science is touching the lives of 493 million EU Consumers with their consumption representing 58% of the EU GDP, yet the insights of consumer research typically fail to have a substantial impact on consumer welfare. The EC acknowledges the problem and places it high on its policy priorities. Consumer research is scattered across several disciplines in the social sciences with little communication occurring between research and practice. The CONsumer COmpetence Research Training (CONCORT) tackles these issues. We abandon the marketing perspective of the persuasive agent trying to affect consumer decisions, and aim to pioneer research from the consumer perspective. We study consumer competence, a broad set of abilities, intuitions, knowledge and skills consumers need in order to make decisions that help them navigate successfully in the economic environment. CONCORT will train 14 ESRs in this new perspective, in 8 high level partners: Three business schools, 2 broad universities, and 3 corporate partners, 2 of which are SMEs. The academic partners are top quality departments from 3 disciplines, namely consumer behaviour, behavioural economics, and health psychology. The corporate partners are innovators in advanced behavioural measurement tools. CONCORT adds an optimal blend between traditional training methods (frequent conventions, high quality in-house doctoral courses), innovative learning instruments (blended learning, skills portfolio), and thorough practice training through industrial secondments. We will train ESRs to see the link between their theoretical training and thematic areas of real life consumer interest (environment, overspending, food choice, etc.). Relying on a strong infrastructure (second life, behavioural labs), and guided by a flexible but demanding modern management structure, CONCORT sets out to create 14 success stories of collaboration, excellence and professional accomplishment in consumer science. Those of our ESRs.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-CG | Phase: ERC-CG-2013-SH1 | Award Amount: 698.94K | Year: 2014
In this proposal I present two research themes that apply endogenous risk analysis to identify channels for the creation of systemic risk via various feedback loops. These projects identify new ways to consider and measure systemic financial risks and, more importantly, the linkages between the financial risks and the real economy, and the welfare consequences. In the first research theme, the focus will be on the effect of network externality on systemic risk formation. I plan to model and estimate network externality using uniquely available datasets on interbank payment flows in the UK; on 176 UK banks counterparty exposure with detailed breakdown of market instruments, and on the BIS bilateral bank capital flows respectively. These analyses are important to understand the role of network in dampening or amplifying shocks and provide quantitative measurement of network-originated systemic (liquidity/default) risks. The impact of these projects is not limited to academia but also has important policy implications. The second research theme will focus on the feedback effects and coordination that lead to excessive systemic risks. In reality, channels for systemic risks arise from unintended consequences embedded in constraints, regulations and frictions that lead to feedback loops and undesirable coordination. For example, my earlier work on feedback between the financial markets and the real economy (Ozdenoren and Yuan 2008, Goldstein, Ozdenoren and Yuan 2011, 2013) has shown that feedback through information friction channels could create excessive financial and real volatilities. In the proposal, I outline a series of projects that examine feedback channels that are related to compensation contracts of CEOs, liquidity, firesales, and regulatory features such as bailouts on excessive correlated risk-taking in the economy.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-COG | Phase: ERC-CoG-2014 | Award Amount: 957.09K | Year: 2015
Macroeconomic policies and macroeconomic institutions influence aggregate outcomes along a number of significant dimensions. While the empirical literature has traditionally focussed on the direct effects on economic activity and inflation, little is known on the impact that policy and institutional changes exert on the macroeconomy through their indirect effects on the distribution of resources available to households and firms. This proposal describes my research agenda over the next five years to fill this important gap in academic and policy knowledge. The emphasis is on a new empirical framework to revisit the transmission mechanism of changes in macroeconomic policies and institutions through their (possibly unintended) consequences on uncertainty, risk and inequality across diverse groups of society and across countries. The proposed approach combines survey data, international evidence and a narrative identification of policy and institutional changes from the analysis of historical records. Another main contribution will be the development of analytical frameworks to account for the stylized facts uncovered by the proposed empirical approach. These include models of imperfect information on individual tax rates and inter-generational risk-sharing within households as well as characterizations of the way monetary institutions and labour market regulations interact to affect macroeconomic uncertainty and financial market volatility. The ambition is to generate a set of testable predictions that could then be used to identify and assess the relative merits of specific theoretical mechanisms in the data. On the policy side, this research will provide new estimates for the aggregate effects of government and monetary interventions. Furthermore, it will make it possible to identify the groups who have benefitted/suffered most from the specific changes that have dominated most of the recent past and whose redistributive implications appear so far overlooked.
Agency: GTR | Branch: ESRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 329.23K | Year: 2014
This research seeks to address a significant constraint to growth among businesses in developing countries: managerial capital. Managerial capital refers to the capabilities and confidence associated with managing cash, customers, competition, capital and constraints within businesses (cf. Bruhn, Karlan and Schoar 2012). Improvements in managerial capital offer the possibility of improved growth and prosperity. However, there exists substantial evidence that it is not abundant among micro and small businesses. In this research, we examine how managerial capital might help entrepreneurs in developing countries to transform their businesses: from micro- to small-sized enterprises and from small- to medium-sized enterprises. Despite the importance of this transformation for economic growth, few researchers so far have examined this phenomenon empirically. The limited empirical work that has used experimental interventions to improve managerial capital has been inconclusive as to whether such interventions have an impact on firm growth, job creation or poverty alleviation. One potential issue is that existing studies typically involve offering business skills programs to a broad mix of entrepreneurs, the majority of whom are self-employed out of necessity and would prefer jobs in the formal sector. Greater selectivity in the recruitment of candidates for managerial capital programs might offer greater potential for impact. In addition, to the best of our knowledge, no study has delivered a consulting program to micro sized enterprises or one in which the participants concentrate on a single business function (e.g. finance or marketing). Prior interventions have also tended to focus on improving finance/accounting practices (e.g. book keeping) or efficiencies in operations (e.g. quality control), either of which can lead to improvements in bottom-line profits. Little emphasis has been placed on the enhancement of marketing and sales practices, which have the potential to increase top-line revenues and, in turn, stimulate firm growth and job creation. Further, researchers have not yet examined the impact of complementing managerial capital with access to business intelligence to improve productivity. We seek to answer these research questions, and address the limitations of prior work, by implementing a randomized-controlled trial (RCT) that focuses on a more homogeneous group of firms, uses a more intense intervention, provides consulting programs that focus on only one dimension of managerial capital per project, and improves access to business information. In part 1, a screening tool will be implemented to identify a homogenous sample of 900 high growth potential micro and small enterprises in four urban areas across Uganda and Rwanda. Next, in part 2, participants will be exposed to a high quality Consulting Program provided by GROW Movement (www.growmovement.org). This managerial capital intervention represents a novel model for delivering free, high quality business advice to the worlds poorest entrepreneurs via emails, mobile phone calls, and Skype video conferencing. Participants will be randomly assigned into one of three consulting groups: 300 participants will get a consultant who focuses on a Marketing/Sales growth project. 300 participants will get a consultant who focuses on a Finance/Accounting growth project. 300 participants will be assigned to a control group that does not receive any intervention. In part 3, within one week of beginning the GROW program, all treated participants (n = 600) will receive an additional business information tool that complements their consulting service and allows them to track and analyze key business metrics. After completing the GROW program, all 900 participants will have their business practices and performance outcomes measured using post-intervention surveys conducted at months 6 and 12.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-STG | Phase: ERC-StG-2014 | Award Amount: 899.11K | Year: 2015
The typical 20th-century firm was capital-intensive and competed on cost efficiency. The 21st-century firm is different. Competitive success increasingly depends on product quality, which in turn hinges on intangible assets such as brand strength, innovation, and corporate culture. Unlike tangible investment such as buying a factory, the fruits of intangible investment may take several years to appear. A manager pressured to maximise short-term earnings may fail to invest, jeopardising the long-term future of his firm. This project will study the determinants and consequences of long-term investment through three linked components. Financial Markets. The traditional view is that financial markets dissuade investment by forcing firms to cater to short-term shareholders. I will study two channels through which markets promote investment. First, traders gather information about a firms past investments and incorporate it into stock prices by trading - rewarding the manager for good investment. Second, traders can gather information about a firms future investment opportunities - informing the manager about his future investment decisions. I aim to analyse what determines the efficiency of both channels. Incentives. Most research on incentives focuses on either the level of pay, or the sensitivity of pay to performance, but it is the horizon of incentives that is key to promoting investment. I will theoretically analyse the optimal incentive horizon, and empirically demonstrate how it affects long-term decisions. Moving beyond managers, I will study how to incentivise teachers to focus on their pupils long-run development rather than teaching-to-the-test. Effects of Investment. A key to inducing long-run investment is to demonstrate its benefits, but this is difficult due to data availability. I aim to gather data on a firms corporate social responsibility its investment in its stakeholders and link it to firm value.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-STG | Phase: ERC-StG-2015 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2016
The modern financial system has undergone immense transformation in recent years and is far more complex than ever before. In lockstep, financial regulation has also become more complex. This research proposal attempts to improve our understanding of potential drivers of this complexity and the implications of this change on the allocation of resources. Taking a positive rather than a normative approach, I will analyse post-crisis changes at both the micro- and at the macro-levels to create a broader understanding of complexities in the current financial system. In order to do so, I will employ a set of advanced research designs, as well as a uniquely assembled micro-level dataset covering state and privately owned financial institutions in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe. This project will focus on two interconnected areas of research: 1) Organisation of Credit, 2) Financial regulation in a complex environment. The aim of this project is to create a sustainable framework for the study of post-crisis financial systems, and to shape the current debate on the future of post-crisis financial structures and the development of policy in this area. Not only will this research have a considerable impact on our understanding of financial systems, it will also impact fields beyond finance, like Organisational Economics, Industrial Organisation and Development Economics.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-ADG | Phase: ERC-ADG-2015 | Award Amount: 1.83M | Year: 2016
How do financial globalization and monetary policies interact? This proposal studies the international transmission channels of monetary policy from the main financial centres to the rest of the world and the ability of countries to conduct independent monetary policy in a financially integrated world. I focus in particular on the role of different exchange rate regimes and on the implications of large cross border financial flows for monetary policy transmission. The proposal is organized around four related parts: (i) global financial conditions and monetary policy; (ii) central banking in large capital flow environments; (iii) heterogeneous financial intermediaries and monetary policy; and (iv) the structure of the international monetary system. In the first part, I will use cutting-edge empirical methods to characterize the effect of monetary policy conducted in main financial centres on the global financial cycle, with a special focus on the role of financial intermediaries in channelling liquidity across borders. In the second part, I will use high frequency data on financial markets to assess to what extent the inflation targeting open economies can have an independent monetary policy in the presence of international capital flows and induced credit creation. In the third part, I will develop new theoretical modelling of the monetary policy transmission mechanism where heterogeneity in financial intermediation plays a key role. This novel framework will allow me to study in general equilibrium the interplay between the effect of monetary policy on investment and aggregate demand and the endogenous build-up of macroeconomic risk. I will then extend the model to the open economy. Finally, I will propose a new model of the workings of the international monetary system based on the insurance properties of the reserve currency and asymmetric fiscal capacities. This micro-founded model will allow me to consider multipolar systems versus a dollar-centric
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-SG | Phase: ERC-SG-SH1 | Award Amount: 1.08M | Year: 2013
My project consists of two lines of work. 1.Empirical Macro-Finance: Asset prices are informative about the macro-economic risks that matter to investors and about the welfare costs of economic fluctuations. However, recent empirical evidence suggests that leading asset pricing models cannot explain how risks are priced across maturities in equity markets, which is a key input to measuring the costs of business cycles. An analysis of what leading models miss will vastly improve our understanding of how the real economy and asset prices are related. Also, by expanding our empirical evidence about the term structure of equity to the firm-level, I plan to study how investment decisions relate to asset prices. My goal is to measure the firms incentives to invest and how this impacts economic growth more broadly. 2.Financial Economics of Insurance Markets: Households in Europe and the US can choose from a wide variety of insurance products that insure health and mortality risks. Choosing between these products is no easy task and the costs from sub-optimal insurance choices are estimated to be large. My plan is to develop a comprehensive life-cycle theory of insurance choice that accounts for family structure, risk factors such as labor income and housing, and different institutional settings across countries. I also plan to study the supply side of insurance markets. The traditional view is that insurance prices are driven by life-cycle demand or informational frictions. However, as is clear from evidence during the financial crisis, insurance companies are in fact financial institutions. If financial constraints bind, it may affect insurance prices and ultimately consumers welfare. My goal is to understand how financial frictions affect insurance companies. A policy implication of my research may be that the private supply of insurance is an imperfect substitute for public supply as insurance companies face different incentives and constraints than the government.