nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2007‒11‒10
four papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Partisan Public Investment and Debt: The Case for Fiscal Restrictions By Roel M.W.J. Beetsma; Frederick van der Ploeg
  2. Does the Order and Timing of Active Labor Market Programs Matter? By Michael Lechner; Stephan Wiehler
  3. "The Right to a Job, the Right Types of Projects Employment Guarantee Policies from a Gender Perspective" By Rania Antonopoulos
  4. Efficient Dynamic Coordination with Individual Learning By Amil Dasgupta; Jakub Steiner; Colin Stewart

  1. By: Roel M.W.J. Beetsma; Frederick van der Ploeg
    Abstract: The political distortions in public investment projects are investigated within a bipartisan framework. The role of scrapping and modifying projects of previous governments receives special attention. The ruling party overspends on large ideological public investment projects and accumulates too much debt to bind the hands of its successor, especially if the probability of being removed from office is large and the possibility of scrapping is not ruled out. These political distortions have implications for the appropriate format of a fiscal rule. A deficit rule, like the Stability and Growth Pact, mitigates the overspending bias in ideological investment projects and improves social welfare. The optimal second-best restriction on public debt exceeds the socially optimal level of public debt. Social welfare is boosted more by investment restrictions on ideological projects. The government then perceives a larger benefit of debt reduction. In fact, if scrapping is forbidden, optimal investment restrictions can yields the socially optimal outcome. Finally, debt and investment restrictions are not needed if investment projects only have a financial return.
    Keywords: political economy, bipartisan, public investment, ideological projects, market projects, scrapping public investment, golden rule, investment restriction, deficit rule
    JEL: E6 H6 H7
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Michael Lechner (SIAW, University of St. Gallen, CEPR, ZEW, PSI, IAB and IZA); Stephan Wiehler (SIAW, University of St. Gallen)
    Abstract: This paper extends the traditional focus of active labor market policy evaluation from a static comparison of participation in a program versus nonparticipation (or participation in another program) to the evaluation of the effects of program sequences, i.e. multiple participation or timing of such programs. We use a dynamic evaluation framework that explicitly allows for dynamic selection into different stages of such sequences based on past intermediate outcomes to analyze multiple programs, the timing of programs, and the order of programs. The analysis is based on exceptionally comprehensive data on the Austrian labor force. Our findings suggest that (i) active job search programs are more effective after a qualification program compared to the reverse order, that (ii) multiple participations in qualification measures dominates single participation, and that (iii) the effectiveness of specific labor market programs deteriorates the later they start during an unemployment spell.
    Keywords: active labor market policy, matching estimation, program evaluation, panel data
    JEL: J68
    Date: 2007–10
  3. By: Rania Antonopoulos
    Abstract: There is now widespread recognition that in most countries, private-sector investment has not been able to absorb surplus labor. This is all the more the case for poor unskilled people. Public works programs and employment guarantee schemes in South Africa, India, and other countries provide jobs while creating public assets. In addition to physical infrastructure, an area that has immense potential to create much-needed jobs is that of social service delivery and social infrastructure. While unemployment and enforced “idleness” persist, existing time-use survey data reveal that people around the world—especially women and children—spend long hours performing unpaid work. This work includes not only household maintenance and care provisioning for family members and communities, but also time spent that helps fill public infrastructural gaps—for example, in the energy, health, and education sectors. This paper suggests that, by bringing together public job creation, on the one hand, and unpaid work, on the other, well-designed employment guarantee policies can promote job creation, gender equality, and pro-poor development.
    Date: 2007–09
  4. By: Amil Dasgupta; Jakub Steiner; Colin Stewart
    Abstract: We study how the presence of multiple participation opportunities coupled with private learning about payoffs affects the ability of agents to coordinate efficiently in global coordination games. Two players face the option to invest irreversibly in a project in one of many rounds. The project succeeds if some underlying state variable q is positive and both players invest, possibly asynchronously. In each round they receive informative private signals about q, and asymptotically learn the true value of q. Players choose in each period whether to invest or to wait for more precise information about q. We show that with sufficiently many rounds, both players invest with arbitrarily high probability whenever investment is socially efficient. This result stands in sharp contrast to the usual static global game outcome in which players coordinate on the risk-dominant action. We provide a foundation for these results in terms of higher order beliefs.
    Keywords: Coordination, global games, efficiency, dynamic games, higher-order beliefs
    JEL: C72 C73
    Date: 2007–11–07

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