nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2007‒08‒08
six papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. The Basic Public Finance of Public-Private Partnerships By Eduardo Engel; Ronald Fischer; Alexander Galetovic
  2. Public-Private Partnerships By Federico Etro
  3. Earnings Effects of Training Programs By Michael Lechner; Blaise Melly
  4. Minority Voting and Long-term Decisions By Theresa Fahrenberger; Hans Gersbach
  5. Firm Size and Openness: the Driving Forces of University-Industry Collaboration By Roberto Fontana; Aldo Geuna; Mireille Matt
  6. Encouraging Sub-National government Efficiency in Hungary By Alessandro Goglio

  1. By: Eduardo Engel (Dept. of Economics, Yale University); Ronald Fischer; Alexander Galetovic
    Abstract: Public-private partnerships (PPPs) cannot be justified because they free public funds. When PPPs are desirable because the private sector is more efficient, the contract that optimally trades demand risk, user-fee distortions and the opportunity cost of public funds is characterized by a minimum revenue guarantee and a cap on the firm's revenues. Yet income guarantees and revenue sharing arrangements observed in practice differ fundamentally from those suggested by the optimal contract. The optimal contract can be implemented via a competitive auction with realistic informational requirements; and risk allocation under the optimal contract suggests that PPPs are closer to public provision than to privatization.
    Keywords: Bundling, Cost of public funds, Subsidies, Minimum revenue guarantees, Revenue and profit caps, Demsetz auctions
    JEL: H21 H54 L51 R42
    Date: 2007–07
  2. By: Federico Etro (Department of Economics, University of Milan-Bicocca)
    Abstract: I study Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) as investments in public infrastructures that are alternative compared to direct public investments. I consider different forms of PPP, discussing their relative advantages from the point of view of incomplete contract theory and principal-agent relations. I also provide an empirical investigation concerning recent PPP projects in Europe and Italy.
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Michael Lechner (SIAW, University of St. Gallen, CEPR, ZEW, PSI, IAB and IZA); Blaise Melly (SIAW, University of St. Gallen)
    Abstract: In an evaluation of a job-training program, the influence of the program on the individual earnings capacity is important, because it reflects the program effect on human capital. Estimating these effects is complicated because earnings are observed for employed individuals only, and employment is itself an outcome of the program. Point identification of these effects can only be achieved by usually implausible assumptions. Therefore, weaker and more credible assumptions are suggested that bound various average and quantile effects. For these bounds, consistent, nonparametric estimators are proposed. In a reevaluation of Germany's training programs of 1993 and 1994, we find that the programs considerably improve the long-run earnings capacity of its participants.
    Keywords: bounds, treatment effects, causal effects, program evaluation
    JEL: C21 C31 J30 J68
    Date: 2007–07
  4. By: Theresa Fahrenberger (Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich); Hans Gersbach (Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich)
    Abstract: In this paper we propose minority voting as a scheme that can partially protect individuals from the risk of repeated exploitation. We consider a committee that meets twice to decide about projects where the first-period project may have a long-lasting impact. In the first period a simple open majority voting scheme takes place. Voting splits the committee into three groups: voting winners, voting losers, and absentees. Under minority voting only voting losers keep the voting right in the second period. We show that as soon as absolute risk aversion exceeds a threshold value minority voting is superior to repeated application of the simple majority rule.
    Keywords: voting, minority, durable decision, risk aversion, tyranny of majority rules
    JEL: D7
    Date: 2007–07
  5. By: Roberto Fontana (CESPRI, Bocconi University); Aldo Geuna (SPRU, University of Sussex); Mireille Matt (BETA, University of Strasbourg)
    Abstract: A large number of works have studied university-industry relationships either from a qualitative point of view or relying on a case study of a single university. The aim of this paper is to provide some statistical evidence at the cross-country, cross-industry level to verify some of the hypotheses put forward in the qualitative literature. On the basis of the results of the KNOW survey carried out in seven EU countries in 2000, we examine two main issues. First, the contribution made by Public Research Organisations (PROs) to the innovative process of firms is analysed. Second, the existence and the extent of co-operative R&D projects between firms and PROs are examined. A two-equation econometric model evaluates the effect of firm-specific, sector-specific and country-specific factors (such as firm size, appropriation and signalling, searching of knowledge sources, government support) upon the propensity for and the extent of collaborations between PROs and firms. The analysis in this paper provides some preliminary evidence which allows a better understanding of the firm and industry characteristics that affect the contribution of PROs to firms' innovative activities and to their involvement in R&D collaborations with firms. The estimations produce some evidence to highlight how the size of the firm and its openness to the external environment have a significant and important effect on both the extent of and propensity of PRO-firm collaboration.
    Keywords: university-industry relationships, European Public Research Organisations, firm innovation
    JEL: I28 O31
    Date: 2007–06–05
  6. By: Alessandro Goglio
    Abstract: Hungary's counties and municipalities face difficult challenges. Participation in cost-cutting structural reforms initiated by the central government means cutbacks to administrative overheads and tough decisions in public services. At the same time, there are also challenges in modernising local infrastructures and in making full use of the EU funds for development projects. This paper first looks at how meeting these challenges can be helped by better budgeting, in particular regarding the transparency and oversight of accounts. Financing arrangements are also examined and this reveals a general problem of complexity. Assessment of spending responsibilities suggests room for improving the roles of counties and regions and a need for cutbacks in central-government influence on service provision and public-sector wages at the local level. <P>Promouvoir l'efficience des administrations infranationales en Hongrie <BR>Les départements et les communes de la Hongrie se trouvent confrontés à une série de problèmes. Leur participation aux réformes structurelles lancées par l’administration centrale les oblige à trancher dans les dépenses administratives et à prendre des décisions délicates en ce qui concerne les services publics. Dans le même temps, il faut mener une action permanente de modernisation des infrastructures locales et tirer pleinement parti des financements de l’UE pour les projets de développement. On verra tout d’abord comment une meilleure budgétisation, surtout pour ce qui est de la transparence et du contrôle des comptes, faciliterait cette action. On examinera également les modalités de financement, qui posent un problème général, celui d’une trop grande complexité. Une évaluation des compétences en matière de dépenses montre qu’il serait possible de mieux définir les missions des comtés et des régions et que l’administration centrale devrait exercer moins d’influence sur la prestation des services et sur les rémunérations dans le secteur public.
    Keywords: Hungary, Hongrie, public procurement, marchés publics, sub-national government, public services, autorités infranationales, budgétisation, services publics, contrôle des comptes, économies d'échelle, partage des impôts, fiscalité locale
    JEL: H7
    Date: 2007–07–04

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