Market shaping reading list

I recently wrote a piece on Buyers of First Resort which ended up getting me more exposure to people who are thinking about using procurement as a lever for policy and/or innovation. One thing I’ve heard a few times now is that there is a knowledge gap in people knowing what levers there are to pull and where they have been/could be used. I remembered coming across Ryan Orbuch’s pages where he made initial reading lists for people interested in negative emissions or learning curves which were really cool so I thought I’d do the same for market shaping policies.

Disclaimer: I’ve not read everything below yet but I’ve had a look to make sure everything seems useful. If anyone has any suggestions feel free to message me on twitter.

Some acronyms that I use below:
AMC – advanced market commitments, agreeing to buy some specified quantity of a good as long as it meets certain criteria
BoFR – Buyer of First Resort, basically similar to AMCs but with the view of being the first buyer out there, so very much for very early innovative tech
OTA – Other transaction authority, not so much a policy in and of itself but it is the legislation in the US that allows agencies to create more flexibility in how they go about procurement

Buyers of first resort
Summary: My attempt to give an overview of using procurement to bridge the translational gap in new tech
Published: 2021
Length: a few pages
Mechanisms: AMC, milestone based payments, BoFR
Depth: Overview with some examples

Innovative Contracting Case Studies
Summary: Pretty thorough overview of what the Obama whitehouse was doing with different types of procurement policies
Published: 2015 ish
Length: 91 pages
Mechanisms: Basically all of them
Depth: In depth

Power Tools for Progress
Summary: Tom Kalil’s speech on the different procurement options available that are under studied and under used (lots of very good links). Also side note, Tom is one of the main people responsible for all US agencies having up to $50m to allocate towards prizes every funding cycle which has helped lead to >1000 prizes set up, thanks Tom.
Published: 2011
Length: 9 pages
Mechanisms: most of them, also lots of very very good links
Depth: Overview piece

Making Markets for Vaccines: Ideas to action
Summary: Some of the original work on AMC
Published: 2005
Length: 129 pages
Mechanisms: AMCs
Depth: Basically the seminal work on practically applying AMCs to health

Inside the Messy Race to Develop a COVID Vaccine
Summary: A look at some of the internal politics of OWS
Published: 2021
Length: few pages
Mechanisms: AMCs
Depth: Overview piece, good narrative

Market shaping primer – USAID
Summary: USAID overview of how market shaping can be used in the context of global health
Published: 2014
Length: 65 pages
Mechanisms: most
Depth: Very detailed

In Search of a SpaceX For Nuclear Energy
Summary: A look at how the learnings from COTS could be used in nuclear
Published: 2019
Length: 48 pages
Mechanisms: OTA, milestone based payments, BoFR
Depth: Pretty detailed

Innovation, Investment, and Inclusion: Accelerating the Energy Transition and Creating Good Jobs
Summary: Doc from the Biden whitehouse on how the govt can help stimulate the private sector for the good of the climate
Published: 2021
Length: 37 pages
Mechanisms: lots
Depth: Not fully read yet

Stripe launches world’s first large-scale carbon removal purchase tool
Summary: Press release overviewing the beginning of stripes attempts to help private companies partake in market shaping for buying carbon capture
Published: 2020
Length: short
Mechanisms: BoFR
Depth: Press release but has pointers to more info

Commercial Orbital Transportation Services: A New Era in Spaceflight
Summary: Report on the structure and success of the NASA COTS programme
Published: 2014
Length: 146 pages
Mechanisms: OTA, milestone based payments, BoFR
Depth: Very in depth (roughly split into 1/3s with first 1/3rd on actual structure and stuff and others on the companies funded)

Other transaction authority history, analysis and viewpoints
Summary: Short review of a policy that was instrumental in COTS and not very used today
Published: not sure
Length: 15 pages
Mechanisms: OTA
Depth: Good overview

Dominic Cummings got his British Darpa. Can he make it work?
Summary: Matt Clifford on what it will take for ARIA to be successful (talks about the need to be a venture customer)
Published: 2020
Length: short ish
Mechanisms: BoFR
Depth: Good overview

US govt challenges
Summary: Some of the ongoing challenge prizes
Published: ongoing
Length: n/a
Mechanisms: Prizes
Depth: n/a

Rediscovering the importance of export discipline
Summary: Overview looking at how some south east asian economies used exports to determine internal subsidies. This is a bit different to the others above, it uses free-market demand to signal public sector funding rather than free-market funding going into things the public sector buys. Still though it’s a cool example of a blend of free-market/public signals that we don’t see as much of today.
Published: 2019
Length: medium-long blog
Mechanisms: export discipline
Depth: Good overview

The Return of the Policy That Shall Not Be Named: Principles of Industrial Policy
Summary: IMF working paper looking at how we can learn from and implement industrial policy better
Published: 2019
Length: 79 pages
Mechanisms: export lead funding decision among other stuff
Depth: Detailed