Projects of the University of Economics and Business succeeded in the grant competition announced by the Czech Science Foundation

This year, the the Czech Science Foundation (GA ČR) announced its largest public grant competition ever. In this call, a total of 459 new projects from all areas of research will support a total of 459 new projects. Among the winning projects, CZK 3.5 billion will be divided over the next three years. Successful petitioners also included the University of Economics with eight submitted projects. For seven of them, he is the main candidate, one of the co-researchers.

As the chairman of GA ČR Petr Baldrian assesses: “It is very difficult to be succesful in this competition, which we announce every year – this year only about one fifth of the best proposals succeeded.” All successful projects must obtain both the support of domestic evaluators and independent foreign specialists, which brings the certainty that the best projects are collected and funds are used to use the basic research. We are proud that our scientists have succeeded.

Faculty of International Relations:

Ayaz Zeynalov, Ph.D. – Weathering Corporate Bankruptcy: The Role of Discipline Effect

Abstract: Does leverage or product-market competition increase or decrease corporate bankruptcy? We extend literature assessing that the effects on corporate bankruptcy hazard are non-monotonic in a cross-section of firms with different leverage levels and product-market competition. The causal mechanism is due to the balance between discipline vs. agency-cost effects. We demonstrate that corporate bankruptcy is essentially a managerial effort problem that can be mitigated by choosing the optimal level of debt given the level of product-market competition. We aim to show that the optimal level of leverage that minimizes the firm’s bankruptcy risk is higher (lower) in less (more) competitive industries. We will extend our research on the impacts of current non-financial external shock on corporate bankruptcy, considering pandemics lockdown and the current war. We will match and compare samples of surviving and nonsurviving firms to discover patterns of difference between these two groups.

Smaranda Pantea, Ph.D. – Digitalization of the public sector: effects on growth and innovation of domestic IT sectors

Abstract: This project proposes three related studies on the effects of digitalization of public administration on the development of the domestic IT sectors in the EU, with a focus on the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The first study estimates the effect of the demand from public sector on the development of national IT sectors in the EU, using sector level data on the size and innovation of IT sectors from Eurostat and aggregate indicators on public procurement for software and IT services from Tender Electronics Daily (TED) and two-way fixed effects methods. The second study estimates firm level effects of winning IT-related tenders on firm growth in the Czech Republic using tender level data from TED dataset and national sources, firm level data from Amadeus and regression discontinuity design methods. The third study estimates the effects of winning public tenders on firm growth and innovation in 10 CEE countries using propensity score matching and difference-in-difference methods and firm level data from TED and Amadeus, complemented with project level data from GitHub.

Zbyněk Dubský, Ph.D. – Decarbonisation of the Czech energy sector through the prism of the new energy geopolitics of the EU (focusing on gas dependence)

Abstract: The decarbonisation of the EU’s energy sector has been a planned process, in which significant changes will take place in the Member States; this is of particular importance for the Czech Republic, an energy-intensive economy dependent on fossil fuel imports. Due to the current unprecedented geopolitical crisis and the related significant threat to the EU, this process is also distinctly gaining a security dimension in the logic of power. The Project focuses on the intersection of security paradigms with energy policy by developing scenarios focusing on the EU’s relations with suppliers to the EU (particularly the Russian Federation) and major transit countries. In terms of theoretical contributions, the project is based on the concept of a new energy geopolitics that overcomes a rationalist approach to energy transformation by engaging critical geopolitics and recognising the fundamental importance of discourse.

Faculty of Business Administration:

Matej Lorko, Ph.D. – Three experiments on using salience towards sustainable tax compliance

Abstract: While using nudges to increase tax compliance has recently gained popularity, several questions remain open as the interventions do not always succeed, and the effects are often short-lived. We plan to apply the salience theory to explain the following issues: (i) if the effect of nudge depends on whether it is aligned with taxpayer’s motivation to comply or not; (ii) if and when a sustainable compliance may be achieved by a periodically repeated intervention; (iii) if reminders have different effect on late taxpayers compared to those who have not missed the deadline yet, and on households compared to individuals; (iv) through which channels a simplified communication of tax-collecting authority towards taxpayers works. To shed light on these issues, we propose two controlled laboratory experiments and one natural fieldexperiment in cooperation with the Financial Administration of Slovakia.

Štěpán Bahník, Ph.D. – Why don’t birds of a feather always flock together? Imperfect selection of cheaters in cheating enabling environments

Abstract: Dishonest people tend to seek environments where they can profit through dishonesty. Yet, environments that enable cheating are not always populated exclusively by dishonest individuals. This project examines factors that limit the selection of dishonest individuals in cheating-enabling environments. Study 1 addresses the possibility that honest individuals may choose cheating-enabling positions to prevent dishonest individuals from entering them. Study 2 examines how the election of people to cheating-enabling positions is influenced by the consequences of cheating for the electors. Study 3 investigates how reputational costs affect the choice of a cheating-enabling environment. Finally, Study 4 examines if competition for resources leads dishonest people to associate with honest people. The studies will contribute to a better understanding of the issues of self-selection to cheating-enabling environments and may lead to more effective interventions for reducing the proportion of dishonest people in occupations where they could defraud or embezzle money, cheat or behave corruptly.

Štěpán Bahník, Ph.D. (co-researcher, the main researcher COŽP UK) – Causal role of environmental identity in pro-environmental behavior

Abstract: Environmental identity is considered to be a key causal factor of pro-environmental behavior and leverage of behavioral change in theoretical studies and practical applications in the environmental domain. However, empirical evidence from experimental studies concerning the causal role of environmental identity remains mixed, with some studies failing to find the causal link between pro-environmental identity and pro-environmental behavior, and most studies failing to rule out the spurious mediation role of environmental identity. The aim of this project is to study the causal role of environmental identity as a factor of pro-environmental behavior and mediator of environmental spillover effect. Specifically, through a series of pre-registered studies (including a meta-analysis of the literature, longitudinal study, and laboratory and webbased experiments), both replications of previous studies and our original studies, we will study whether environmental identity is a true causal precursor of environmental behavior, and-if so-how it can be best used to drive behavioral change.

Faculty of Finance and Accounting:

Vladimír Holý, Ph.D. – Dynamic Score-Driven Models in Operations Research

Abstract: Generalized autoregressive score (GAS) models are time series models based on any underlying probability distribution with dynamics driven by the conditional score for any timevarying parameters. In recent years, they have established themselves as a useful modern methodology for time series modeling in econometrics and quantitative finance. The purpose of this project is to introduce GAS modeling to the field of operations research. The essence of our project lies in capturing dynamic behavior by the conditional score when static models are inadequate. We focus on queueing theory, customer base analysis, efficiency analysis, sports management, and optimization problems in finance. We also take a more general point of view and answer whether GAS models have desirable asymptotic properties, whether GAS models are indeed universally applicable, and whether GAS models are superior to other modeling approaches.

Miroslav Rada, Ph.D. – Using modern methods of discrete geometry for solving selected problems in operations research and data analysis – III.

Abstract: The project aims at development, improvement and application of methods for solving problems in operations research and data analysis. Most of the research is unified by (but not restricted to) a common topic: by enumerative and approximative problems over geometric objects, in particular

–          over affine images of hypercubes – zonotopes,

–          over their combinatorial duals – arrangements of hyperplanes, and

–          polytopes arising in interval programming.

The core of the project is built on concrete ideas, which the applicant considers promising to work on. Algorithms developed in the project are usable in a variety of problems of operations research and data analysis. The project will focus on e.g.

  1. a) transportation problem with uncertain coefficients,
  2. b) quadratic maximization over hypercube,
  3. c) convex envelopes of interval polyhedra,
  4. d) robust estimators for linear regression.

The project directly follows the project GAČR 20-17529S with the same area of interest. During the work on it many further topics emerged to be researched. These topics form the basis of the proposed project.

Congratulations to all successful aplicants!