Resource allocation when projects have ranges of increasing returns
A fixed budget must be allocated to a finite number of different projects with uncertain outputs. The expected marginal productivity of capital in a project first increases then decreases with the amount of capital invested. Such behavior is common when output is a probability (of escaping infection, succeeding with an R&D project…). When the total budget is below some threshold, it is invested in a single project. Above this cutoff, the share invested in a project can be discontinuous and non-monotone in the total budget. Above an upper cutoff, all projects receive more capital as the budget increases.
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