nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2007‒01‒28
five papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Delegation and Incentives By Bester, Helmut; Krahmer, Daniel
  2. Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit By Duflo, Esther; Glennerster, Rachel; Kremer, Michael
  3. Using State Administrative Data to Measure Program Performance By Peter R. Mueser; Kenneth R. Troske; Alexey Gorislavsky
  4. Dynamic Choice, Independence, and Emotions By Hopfensitz, Astrid; van Winden, Frans A.A.M.
  5. Circulatory Disease in the NHS: Measuring Trends in Hospital Costs and Output By Adriana Castelli; Peter C Smith

  1. By: Bester, Helmut; Krahmer, Daniel
    Abstract: This paper analyses the relation between authority and incentives. It extends the standard principal--agent model by a project selection stage in which the principal can either delegate the choice of project to the agent or keep the authority. The agent's subsequent choice of effort depends both on monetary incentives and the selected project. We find that the consideration of effort incentives makes the principal less likely to delegate the authority over projects to the agent. In fact, if the agent is protected by limited liability, delegation is never optimal.
    Keywords: Authority; Delegation; Limited liability; Moral hazard; Principal-agent problem
    JEL: D82 D86
    Date: 2007–01
  2. By: Duflo, Esther; Glennerster, Rachel; Kremer, Michael
    Abstract: This paper is a practical guide (a toolkit) for researchers, students and practitioners wishing to introduce randomization as part of a research design in the field. It first covers the rationale for the use of randomization, as a solution to selection bias and a partial solution to publication biases. Second, it discusses various ways in which randomization can be practically introduced in a field settings. Third, it discusses designs issues such as sample size requirements, stratification, level of randomization and data collection methods. Fourth, it discusses how to analyze data from randomized evaluations when there are departures from the basic framework. It reviews in particular how to handle imperfect compliance and externalities. Finally, it discusses some of the issues involved in drawing general conclusions from randomized evaluations, including the necessary use of theory as a guide when designing evaluations and interpreting results.
    Keywords: development; experiments; program evaluation
    JEL: C93
    Date: 2007–01
  3. By: Peter R. Mueser (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Kenneth R. Troske; Alexey Gorislavsky
    Abstract: We use administrative data from Missouri to examine the sensitivity of earnings impact estimates for a job training program based on alternative nonexperimental methods. We consider regression adjustment, Mahalanobis distance matching, and various methods using propensity score matching, examining both cross-sectional estimates and difference-in-difference estimates. Specification tests suggest that the difference-in-difference estimator may provide a better measure of program impact. We find that propensity score matching is most effective, but the detailed implementation is not of critical importance. Our analyses demonstrate that existing data can be used to obtain useful estimates of program impact.
    JEL: C14 C21 C52
    Date: 2006–12–15
  4. By: Hopfensitz, Astrid; van Winden, Frans A.A.M.
    Abstract: From the viewpoint of the independence axiom of expected utility theory, an interesting empirical dynamic choice problem involves the presence of a 'global risk', that is, a chance of losing everything whichever safe or risky option is chosen. In this experimental study, participants have to allocate real money between a safe and a risky project. Treatment variable is the particular decision stage at which a global risk is resolved: (i) before the investment decision; (ii) after the investment decision but before the resolution of the investment risk; (iii) after the resolution of the investment risk. The baseline treatment is without global risk. Our goal is to investigate the isolation effect and the principle of timing independence under the different timing options of the global risk. In addition, we examine the role played by anticipated and experienced emotions in the choice problem. Main findings are a violation of the isolation effect, and support for the principle of timing independence. Although behaviour across the different global risk cases is approximately the same, we observe clear differences in people's affective responses. This may be responsible for the conflicting results observed in earlier experiments. Dependent on the timing of the global risk different combinations of anticipated and experienced emotions influence decision making.
    Keywords: anxiety; background risk; emotions; global risk; investment; laboratory experiment; regret
    JEL: A12 C91 D81
    Date: 2007–01
  5. By: Adriana Castelli (Centre for Health Economics, University of York); Peter C Smith (Centre for Health Economics, University of York)
    Abstract: Following the publication of the Atkinson Review of the measurement of government outputs in the National Accounts, there has been great interest in measuring the productivity growth of the National Health Service. Such macro measures of productivity are important when deciding how much public money to devote to the NHS, and in holding the NHS to account. However, it is also important to gain an understanding of the productivity of individual programmes of care, so as to ensure that resources are allocated efficiently within the NHS. Hitherto, such information has not been available. This report is an exploratory study of the feasibility and usefulness of developing measures of growth in outputs, costs and productivity of a single programme of care within the NHS: hospital treatment of circulatory diseases.
    Date: 2006–12

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