nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2008‒01‒19
six papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Gains and Pains from Contract Research: A Transaction and Firm-level Perspective By Christoph Grimpe; Ulrich Kaiser
  2. Managing post-disaster reconstruction finance -- international experience in public financial management By Kaiser, Kai; Ihsan, Ahya; Fengler, Wolfgang
  3. Evaluating Aid Impact By White, Howard
  4. Optimal Resource Extraction Contracts under Threat of Expropriation By Eduardo Engel; Ronald Fischer
  5. The Use of Knowledge Management by Innovators - Empirical Evidence for Germany By Uwe Cantner; Kristin Joel; Tobias Schmidt
  6. Human capital, externalities and tourism: three unexplored sides of the impact of FT affiliation on primary producers By BECCHETTI LEONARDO; COSTANTINO MARCO; PORTALE ELISA

  1. By: Christoph Grimpe (Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim); Ulrich Kaiser (University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: Determining the research and development (R&D) boundaries of the firm as the choice between internal, collaborative and external technology acquisition has since long been a major challenge for firms to secure a continuous stream of innovative products or processes. While research on R&D cooperation or strategic alliances is abundant, little is known about the outsourcing of R&D activities to contract research organizations and its implications for innovation performance. This paper investigates the driving forces of external technology sourcing through contract research based on arguments from transaction cost theory and the resource-based view of the firm. Using a large and comprehensive data set of innovating firms from Germany our findings suggest that technological uncertainty, contractual experience and openness to external knowledge sources motivate the choice for engaging in contract research activities. Moreover, we show that internal and external R&D sourcing are complements: the marginal contribution of internal (external) R&D is the larger the more firms spend on external (internal) R&D.
    Keywords: contract research, innovation; transaction cost theory; firm capabilities
    JEL: O32 C24
    Date: 2008–01
  2. By: Kaiser, Kai; Ihsan, Ahya; Fengler, Wolfgang
    Abstract: In recent years, natural and man-made disasters have confronted the international community with its most demanding reconstruction challenges since the aftermath of World War II. Managing the inflow of resources and spending those resources well have proven to be two of the main difficulties in such reconstruction projects, particularly after large-scale disasters. A central dilemma of the public financial management of reconstruction is the need for very high levels of accountability to demonstrate fiduciary credibility, while at the same time ensuring the rapid implementation of recovery programs. This paper identifies options and lessons for managing post-disaster reconstruction finance in three key areas: (i) the establishment of special institutions to manage the reconstruction process; (ii) the selection of public financial management systems with respect to the application of country systems, special fiduciary arrangements, or donor/NGO execution; and (iii) monitoring and evaluation systems. The authors synthesize the phasing of assistance and approaches in eight recent post-natural disaster reconstruction efforts (Aceh-Indonesia, Yogyakarta-Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Pakistan, Colombia, Grenada, and Honduras) to help guide the priorities and options for future instances of public financial management for disaster reconstruction. The paper also compares the challenges posed by post-conflict versus post-natural disaster public financial management.
    Keywords: Natural Disasters,Disaster Management,Post Conflict Reconstruction,Social Accountability,Post Conflict Reintegration
    Date: 2008–01–01
  3. By: White, Howard
    Abstract: The ultimate measure of aid effectiveness is how aid ffects the lives of poor people in developing countries. The huge literature on aid’s macroeconomic impact has remarkably little to say on this topic, and less still in terms of practical advice to government officials and aid administrators on how to improve development effectiveness. But there is an expanding toolbox of approaches to impact evaluation at the field level which can answer both questions of whether aid works, and, properly applied, why it works (or not, as the case may be). This paper lays out these approaches, describing some of their uses by official development agencies. I advocate a theory based approach to impact evaluation design, as this is most likely to yield policy insights. Academics need to engage in these real world issues and debates if their work is to help alleviate the plight of the world’s poor.
    Keywords: aid effectiveness; impact evaluation; quasi-experimental design; results agenda
    JEL: O1 O22 O3 O12
    Date: 2007–11
  4. By: Eduardo Engel (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Ronald Fischer (University of Chile)
    Abstract: The government contracts with a foreign firm to extract a natural resource that requires an upfront investment and which faces price uncertainty. In states where profits are high, there is a likelihood of expropriation, which generates a social cost that increases with the expropriated value. In this environment, the planner's optimal contract avoids states with high probability of expropriation. The contract can be implemented via a competitive auction with reasonable informational requirements. The bidding variable is a cap on the present value of discounted revenues, and the firm with the lowest bid wins the contract. The basic framework is extended to incorporate government subsidies, unenforceable investment effort and political moral hazard, and the general thrust of the results described above is preserved.
    Keywords: Taxation, Mining, Rent extraction, Royalty, Non-renewable natural resource, Present-value-of-revenue auction
    JEL: Q33 Q34 Q38 H21 H25
    Date: 2008–01
  5. By: Uwe Cantner (Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena); Kristin Joel (Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena); Tobias Schmidt (Deutsche Bundesbank, Economic Research Centre)
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate factors that influence a firm's decision to implement knowledge management practices. Our focus is on knowledge management practices implemented to increase collaboration between actors within a firm on innovation activities. Using information on over 1,500 innovative German firms from the Mannheim Innovationpanel of 2003, we find that an innovation strategy targeted at consumers and continuous R+D activities is positively related to KM usage. In addition, more general firm characteristics like size and the industry of a firm do influence the decision to use knowledge management as well.
    Keywords: knowledge management, innovation, Mannheim Innovation Panel
    JEL: D23 O31 O32
    Date: 2008–01–11
    Abstract: We evaluate the impact of fair trade (FT) affiliation on a sample of around 250 producers from two different fair trade projects which widely differ in terms of average FT affiliation and local standard of living. On the descriptive side we find evidence of two types of externalities (FT affiliates have higher bargaining power also with local intermediaries and, in one project but not in the other, FT improves conditions also of local non FT affiliates). The FT price premium (difference between FT and traditional importers price) is substantial even though “ethical travelers” pay a price even higher than FT importers. On the econometric side we observe that, in both projects, producers’ income, weekly food consumption expenditure, the non food consumption share on total income, self evaluated relative standard of living and professional self esteem are significantly and positively correlated with affiliation years. Through its impact on consumption share and relative standard of living fair trade is also shown to have indirect significant effects on producers’ life satisfaction. We also find weaker but significant effects of fair trade affiliation on last year savings, while we do not observe significant differences between the treatment and control sample in terms of wealth proxies. Finally, with backast panel data we reconstruct farmers yearly decisions to send their children to school and find that FT affiliation has a significant and positive effect on them when children are between 15 and 18. The effect is stronger in the project in which producers have higher standard of living.
    Date: 2007–12

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