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London School of Economics and Political Science
Country: United Kingdom
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847 Projects, page 1 of 170
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/I003118/1
    Funder Contribution: 82,841 GBP

    The aim of this research is the production of a book on decision making that applies to situations in which we don't know what all the alternative are and have not made up our mind about those that we are aware of. \n\nThe first part of the book will present, explain and then reformulate the core of Bayesian decision theory, currently the standard theory of decision making. The focus will be on foundational questions and in particular on two problems: one normative, the other epistemological. The first is what might be termed the problem of justification, namely that of providing grounds for believing that people should follow its prescriptions. The second is the problem of interpretation, which in its starkest form is the question of how we can have knowledge of non-observable mental states such as beliefs and preferences. A solution to this problem is crucial to the applicability of decision theory, for unless we can determine what someone believes or desires, we cannot use the theory to say what he should do or explain what he was observed to do. \n\nThe second part will address the problem of decision making in the kinds of situations described above. The main thought here is that since people cannot plan for all contingencies, a theory which gives advice on the presumption that agents can make their minds up about everything in advance is going to be of limited help. Consequently, this part of the project will attempt to address three main research questions. Firstly, how people should change their mind about the possibilities they face as they become aware of previously unforeseen features of them? Secondly, how should they make up their mind about what probability and desirability to attach to prospects in the first place? And thirdly, how should they make decisions when they have not made their mind up about all relevant features of the decision problem, including how likely are the various contingencies upon which the success of the their decisions depend and how desirable are the possible consequences of the choices they make. \n

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: ES/G03253X/1
    Funder Contribution: 191,689 GBP

    Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 2299211

    The proposed research aims to examine the role of stigma in abortion care and method choice in Ghana. Specific research questions include: i) what role (if any) does stigma play in women's choice of abortion method, and their experiences of abortion methods? ii) how do women's experiences of abortion care influence whether and how they experience stigma, and how can stigma within abortion services be measured? iii) how do providers' attitudes to abortion influence abortion method use? iv) How do interventions that aim to influence provider attitudes and quality of counselling impact use of abortion methods? The research will employ mixed methods, using a selection of the following approaches. Qualitative research with women and providers, using in-depth interviews, focus groups and observation, will investigate how stigma and perceptions of abortion methods interact. A literature review and the findings from qualitative research will inform the development of a scale to measure experiences of stigma in service delivery, for future validation using cognitive and expert interviews and client survey data analysis. Analysis of data from the 2017 Ghana Maternal Health Survey will assess characteristics associated with abortion method use, including socio-demographics, abortion motivations and awareness of legal status. Record linkage of routinely-captured health service data with provider attitudinal surveys will examine associations between provider attitudes and abortion method use. Interrupted time series analysis will be used to evaluate the impact of provider behaviour interventions on abortion method use.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: ES/L012545/2
    Funder Contribution: 10,018 GBP

    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 world's 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.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 639633
    Overall Budget: 1,276,880 EURFunder Contribution: 1,276,880 EUR

    Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) are key ‘tectonic forces’, shaping the ‘mountains’ in a far-from-flat world economic geography. In 2010, MNEs generated value added for approximately US$16 trillion accounting for more than a quarter of world GDP (UNCTAD, 2012). The progessive expansion of firms from emerging economies into multinational enterprises is unprecedented. Outflows of FDIs from developing economies reached the record level of $426 billion in 2012, corresponding to 31% of global outflows, up from 16% in 2007 (UNCTAD, 2013). However, there is no consensus in the academic literature on both the factors able to shape the long-term location decisions of MNEs and, more generally, on the ultimate impact of MNEs on their host economies. This lack of consensus reflects three fundamental gaps in the existing literature. First the omission of some fundamental determinants of MNEs investment decisions in ‘traditional’ national-level analyses. Territorial/spatial factors, MNEs heterogeneity and local institutional conditions have been often overlooked in MNEs location analyses. Second the limited attention to the broader set of impacts of MNEs in their host economies and the role of institutional factors as selective ‘filters’ for these impacts. Third the intimate inter-connection between location motives and impacts has remained unexplored in the grey areas between separate streams of literature. This research project will investigate the location strategies of MNEs and their territorial impacts addressing these three fundamental gaps in the existing literature, shedding new light on the factors shaping the economic geography of MNEs and their impacts and providing policy-makers at all levels with new tools to promote innovation, employment and economic recovery after the current economic crisis.

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