Private Enterprise Development in Low Income Countries Special Climate Change Call

Private Enterprise Development in Low Income Countries (PEDL) has opened its first Special Exploratory Research Grant call for research on firms and climate change. Although ‘Social Compliance and the Environment’ is one of the four established PEDL themes, it now has a dedicated fund for work specifically related to understanding the relationship between private sector development and the environment. Proposals are invited which will enable policymakers to make more informed decisions.

The intention is to draw particular attention to these issues surrounding abatement and adaptation. Proposals can be submitted on any topic related to the effect of climate on private sector development; however, the following three areas are highlighted:

1. Climate and productivity: There is increasing evidence that pollution and higher temperatures lead to lower productivity (such as Graff Zivin and Neidell (2012)). There is less evidence on adaptation strategies that firms might take to ameliorate these negative effects (eg Adhvaryu et al. (2019)).

2. Building resilience: Climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events. Understanding of the effects of climate uncertainty at the firm and market level is limited, but one example is Balboni and Boehm’s ongoing PEDL-funded work examining adaptive decisions of firms in the aftermath of flood events to help limit exposure to future floods.

3. Regulation and productivity: environmental regulation will, by its design, change how firms operate. This could have significant impacts on productivity. Currently, knowledge in this area of research is primarily based on short-run outcomes. However, if firms can offset costs of environmental compliance through adaptation strategies, longer-run evaluation is needed.

Examples of additional questions relevant to this theme are:

How does climate uncertainty affect firm-level decisions and market structure?

How can firms and markets adapt to the presence of increasingly frequent severe weather events?

How can environmental regulation be ensured even in countries with weak enforcement institutions?

How are preferences of consumers in destination countries transmitted to firms in lower-income countries?

Grants of between £10,000 and £40,000 are available for cutting-edge, policy-oriented research that could be published in leading academic journals and be relevant to the policy dialogue in lower income countries (LICs). Research may be related to private enterprises of all sizes, and proposals are encouraged that also address one or more of PEDL’s three cross-cutting themes:

Fragile and conflict affected states


Unlocking data for understanding markets and firms

Funding is available for research assistance, data collection and new surveys in LICs, and (if necessary) teaching buyouts for the principal investigator.

The deadline for applications is 31 August 2020 (23:59 BST).

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.