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Sequential R&D Strategy for Synfuels

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  • Martin L. Weitzman
  • Whitney Newey
  • Michael Rabin

Abstract

The basic point of this article is that a "crash program" mentality leads to inappropriate questions and wrong answers about policy issues in large-scale government subsidized research, like the development of synfuels. R&D funding should be viewed as a sequential decision, not a once-and-for-all choice. Using some new results in the theory of information gathering, we apply an operational sequential methodology to analyze whether the U.S. government should subsidize the development of liquid synthetic fuels from coal.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal Bell Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (1981)
Issue (Month): 2 (Autumn)
Pages: 574-590

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Handle: RePEc:rje:bellje:v:12:y:1981:i:autumn:p:574-590

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Cited by:
  1. Robert S. Pindyck, 1992. "Investments of Uncertain Cost," NBER Working Papers 4175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Majd, Saman & Pindyck, Robert S., 1987. "Time to build, option value, and investment decisions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 7-27, March.
  3. Viju, Crina & Kerr, William A., 2013. "Taking an option on the future: Subsidizing biofuels for energy security or reducing global warming," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 543-548.

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