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Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries Programme

Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries Programme

Deadline: 15-Nov-20

The Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL) program pursues a research agenda that aims to better understand what determines the strength of market forces driving efficiency in low-income countries (LICs).

Seed Grants
Existing research suggests that the private sector in LICs faces a multitude of constraints that act upon each other. What is needed is research that allows them to understand how these constraints interact.

The objective of PEDL is to fund cutting-edge, policy-oriented research that could be published in leading academic journals and be relevant to the policy dialogue in LICs.

MRGs are designed to allow researchers to:

build on and expand previous exploratory research on the study of firms in LICs; and, more generally;
conduct research on the study of firms in LICs at a large scale.

PEDL also particularly encourage proposals that address one or more of PEDL’s three cross-cutting themes:

Fragile and conflict-affected states;
Unlocking data for understanding markets and firms.
Funding Information

MRGs have an average grant size of £300,000. Note however that while there is a lower limit of £100,000 for each MRG, there is no upper limit.
Major Research Grants (MRGs) can run for between 24 and 36 months.
Research Areas

It will promote research related to private enterprises of all sizes and invites applications in any aspect of private sector development, with a particular emphasis on PEDL’s four priority research areas:

Market frictions, management, and organizations: Examples of the questions that might be addressed in this theme are:
How do market frictions affect the incentives of the owners and managers of firms to innovate and increase productivity?
How do mechanisms which firms devise to govern their trading relations in fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS) affect market frictions and competitive environments?
What are the effects of weak institutions? Do they limit the ability of firms to provide strong incentives to trading partners and employees? Do they encourage firms to make sub-optimal technology choices, and discourage firms from creating jobs?
How can policymakers in LICs strengthen institutions important to the private sector, and what are the constraints to doing so?
What are the general equilibrium effects of specific policies, particularly as they relate to job creation and distributional effects?
Trade and macro models – agglomeration and spatial location of firms: Examples of the questions which might be addressed in this theme are:
What is the role of MNCs in the development of new export-orientated sectors, and how and when do domestically-owned firms enter these sectors?
Does the need to produce higher quality goods for the export market have important spillovers for the domestic sectors, either through training of workers or demand for more efficient local partners?
Which sectors of society benefit from export sectors, and what policies can help ensure that the benefits extend to households in the lowest income deciles?
What is the relationship between export sectors and the overall business environment? Do exporters create pressure for better institutions?
How effective are policies like Special Export Zones, credit programmes or tax incentives for exporters?
Can export sectors survive in fragile and conflict affected states?
High growth entrepreneurship: Questions that might be addressed in this theme are:
Where do large firms come from? Are they born large, or do they grow from micro or small enterprises?
Can Angel and Venture financial markets function in LICs, in spite of more limited exit options for early stage investors?
How can entrepreneurs with high growth potential be identified, and what policies best support their growth?
Are incubators and other programmes designed to develop innovative small enterprises effective?
Social compliance and the environment: Examples of questions relevant to this theme are:
How are preferences of consumers in destination countries transmitted to firms in lower-income countries?
What is the relationship between social compliance and firm productivity? Does treating workers better improve their productivity?
Women, minorities and youth are often subject to abuse and discrimination in work situations. How can the quality of work be improved and monitored for these groups?
Are labels like Fair Trade and social compliance certification schemes like WRAP effective in protecting worker rights?
How can environmental protections be ensured even in countries with weak enforcement institutions?
Eligibility Criteria

Applying for an exploratory grant does not preclude one from applying for a major grant. Indeed, one of the ideas of the exploratory grants is to generate projects that might be fundable in the large grant program.
The program is open to mixed / multi-disciplinary approaches. However, the core of the approach should be related to the literature in economics and grounded primarily in economic issues.
An individual can be the Principal Investigator on only one application for a given major grant call.
For more information, visit https://pedl.cepr.org/funding/major-research-grants

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