Private sector firms are critical players in energy technology innovation. As described below, the private sector funds and carries out the majority of energy research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) in the United States. New energy technologies can make significant contributions to major energy challenges only if they are adopted on a broad scale by the private sector.
In this chapter, therefore, we explore two sets of questions. First, what kinds of energy innovation are taking place in the private sector in the United States today, and how can the federal government best encourage them to do more? Second, how can U.S. government energy RD&D partnerships with the private sector – a major part of the federal investment in energy RD&D – be made more effective? As we show in this chapter, improving the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s work with the private sector is important not only because the private sector will ultimately take technologies into the market, but because collaborative work between DOE and others makes up about 30% of the energy RD&D budget and 55% of the Science budget through grants and collaborative agreements. Within energy RD&D especially, for-profit firms receive 60% of all funding for collaborative work, and firms contribute more than they receive to jointly funded projects, so that firms represent 65% of the total collaborative effort.
Beaches and dunes of the open coast form one of the globe’s longest ecological interfaces, linking the oceans with the land. These systems are of great importance to society as prime sites for housing and recreation, buffers against storms, and providers of fisheries and mineral resources. By contrast, their unique ecological attributes and biodiversity are much less recognized. In this chapter, we provide a synthesis of the key ecological features and functions of beaches and dunes, outline the main elements of their faunal biodiversity, examine human threats and their biological consequences, and sketch some salient issues in management to achieve conservation of these unique ecosystems. It is apparent that the range of ecosystem goods and services is broad, but nutrient cycling, water filtration, and the provision of habitat and prey for a diverse range of animals are often the key ecological traits. Contrary to common perceptions, beaches and dunes contain a diverse and unique set of species, many of which are found nowhere else. In addition to the complement of highly adapted invertebrates, many wildlife species (e.g. birds, turtles, fishes) are dependent on beaches and dunes for nesting and feeding, and they use these habitats extensively. Human pressures on sandy shorelines and their biodiversity are numerous. Coastal squeeze is, however, the most pervasive, trapping beaches and their biota between the pressures of development from the terrestrial side and the consequences of climate change from the marine side. Beaches are also naturally malleable habitats whose interlinkages, including the exchange of organisms, with the abutting dunes and surf zones are essential to their functioning. Unfortunately, human actions intended to arrest the dynamics of beach habitats, such as seawalls and dune stabilizations, run counter to these natural dynamics and generally produce negative environmental outcomes. These present a set of formidable management challenges when the primary goal is to conserve intact ecosystems and biodiversity, calling for more systematic approaches in conservation design and implementation for beach and dune ecosystems.
One of the most important developments in the growth literature of the last decade is the enhanced appreciation of the role that the misallocation of resources has in helping us understand income differences across countries. Given an economy's stock of physical capital, labor, human capital, and knowledge, the way in which those aggregate quantities of inputs are allocated across firms and industries – and even potentially within firms – determines the economy's overall level of production. The best allocation will maximize welfare and, in a sense that can be made precise, output itself in the long run. Other allocations result in lower levels of output and therefore show up in the aggregate as a lower level of total factor productivity (TFP).
In a broad sense, this is an old idea with many antecedents. In the realbusiness-cycle literature, for example, it is commonly appreciated that tax distortions or regulations may show up as TFP shocks. Chari, Kehoe, and McGrattan (2007) followed in this tradition.
In the literature on growth and development, Restuccia and Rogerson (2008) explicitly analyzed a model of misallocation among heterogeneous plants to quantify the effect on aggregate TFP. Banerjee and Duflo (2005) argued that the marginal product of capital differs widely among firms in India, potentially reducing overall output. Hsieh and Klenow (2009) presented empirical evidence that misallocation across plants within four-digit industries may reduce TFP in manufacturing by a factor of two to three in China and India. A large literature surrounding these papers considers various mechanisms through which misallocation can lead to income differences.
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