nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2008‒09‒13
eight papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Do community-driven development projects enhance social capital ? evidence from the Philippines By Labonne, Julien; Chase, Robert S.
  2. A Choice Modelling Approach for Assessment of Use and Quasi-Option Values in Urban Planning for Areas of Environmental Interest By Elisabetta Strazzera; Elisabetta Cherchi; Silvia Ferrini
  3. Bidder asymmetry in infrastructure procurement : are there any fringe bidders ? By Estache, Antonio; Iimi, Atsushi
  4. "Biased Motivation of Experts: Should They be Aggressive or Conservative?" By Noriyuki Yanagawa
  5. Joint bidding in infrastructure procurement By Estache, Antonio; Iimi, Atsushi
  6. Procurement efficiency for infrastructure development and financial needs reassessed By Estache, Antonio; Iimi, Atsushi
  7. Timing and duration of exposure in evaluations of social programs By King , Elizabeth M.; Behrman, Jere R.
  8. R&D Investment and Financing Constraints of Small and Medium-Sized Firm By Czarnitzki, Dirk; Binz, Hanna L.

  1. By: Labonne, Julien; Chase, Robert S.
    Abstract: This paper explores the social capital impacts of a large-scale, community-driven development project in the Philippines in which communities competed for block grants for infrastructure investment. The analysis uses a unique data set of about 2,100 households collected before the project started (2003) and after one cycle of sub-project implementation (2006) in 66 treatment and 69 matched control communities. Participation in village assemblies, the frequency with which local officials meet with residents and trust towards strangers increased as a result of the project. However, there is a decline in group membership and participation in informal collective action activities. This may have been because households were time-constrained, so that in order to participate in project activities, they needed to temporarily reduce their participation in informal activities. An alternative explanation is that the project improved the efficiency of formal forms of social capital and thus households needed to rely less on informal forms. Finally, the results indicate that, in the short run, the project might have reduced the number of other investments.
    Keywords: Housing&Human Habitats,Access to Finance,Social Accountability,Social Capital,Banks&Banking Reform
    Date: 2008–07–01
  2. By: Elisabetta Strazzera (University of Cagliari); Elisabetta Cherchi (DIT and CIREM, University of Cagliari); Silvia Ferrini (DEPFID, University of Siena, CSERGE and University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: This study adopts a discrete choice modelling methodology to evaluate individuals’ preferences over planning alternatives for an urban site of environmental interest. Since such projects involve some uncertainty and irreversibility, a special attention is devoted to the estimation of the quasi-option values which are associated to project development. Two distinct measures for the quasi-option value are estimated, and both coefficients indicate that the public places a significant value on reduction of the possibility of adverse irreversible effects: a more prudent development strategy is valued about four times more than a procedure that provides a lesser hedge against undesired outcomes. Furthermore, the study involved elicitation of intertemporal preferences over projects with different time spans, and estimation of the implicit discount rates: the values obtained seem high if compared to standard discount rates applied to public projects, but not far from current interest rates on consumption.
    Keywords: Urban Planning, Environmental Values, Choice Modelling, Use Values, Quasi-option Values, Discounting
    JEL: C35 Q51 R41
    Date: 2008–07
  3. By: Estache, Antonio; Iimi, Atsushi
    Abstract: Asymmetric auctions are among the most rapidly growing areas in the auction literature. The potential benefits from improved auction efficiency are expected to be enormous in public procurement auctions related to official development projects. Entrant bidders are considered a key to enhance competition in an auction and break potential collusive arrangements among incumbent bidders. Asymmetric auction theory predicts that weak (fringe) bidders would bid more aggressively when they are faced with a strong (incumbent) opponent. Using official development assistance procurement data, this paper finds that in the major infrastructure sectors, entrants submitted systematically aggressive bids in the presence of an incumbent bidder. The findings also show that a high concentration of incumbents in an auction would harm auction efficiency, raising procurement costs. The results suggest that auctioneers should encourage fringe bidders to actively participate in the bidding process while maintaining the quality of the projects. This is conducive to enhancing competitive circumstances in public procurements and improving allocative efficiency.
    Keywords: Investment and Investment Climate,Government Procurement,Debt Markets,E-Business,Infrastructure Economics
    Date: 2008–07–01
  4. By: Noriyuki Yanagawa (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: When we intend to hire a professional expert, which type of expert should we hire? Although it is sometimes claimed that decisions of experts tend to be conservative, is it optimal to choose a conservative expert? This paper attempts to answer these questions. It will show that a principal should hire a conservative expert, i.e., an expert who has biased preference for maintaining the status quo. The crucial aspect is that there is a possibility that the expert may not transmit truthful information. A neutral expert or an expert who has biased preference for implementing the project has a very strong incentive to recommend the project. Even when he/she cannot recognize whether the project is sufficiently productive, he may recommend the project. Hence, a conservative expert is considered to be bene.cial for the principal.
    Date: 2008–09
  5. By: Estache, Antonio; Iimi, Atsushi
    Abstract: To utilize public resources efficiently, it is required to take full advantage of competition in public procurement auctions. Joint bidding practices are one of the possible ways of facilitating auction competition. In theory, there are pros and cons. It may enable firms to pool their financial and experiential resources and remove barriers to entry. On the other hand, it may reduce the degree of competition and can be used as a cover for collusive behavior. The paper empirically addresses whether joint bidding is pro- or anti-competitive in Official Development Assistance procurement auctions for infrastructure projects. It reveals the possible risk of relying too much on a foreign bidding coalition and may suggest the necessity of overseeing it. The data reveal no strong evidence that joint bidding practices are compatible with competition policy, except for a few cases. In road procurements, coalitional bidding involving both local and foreign firms has been found pro-competitive. In the water and sewage sector, local joint bidding may be useful to draw out better offers from potential contractors. Joint bidding composed of only foreign companies is mostly considered anti-competitive.
    Keywords: Investment and Investment Climate,ICT Policy and Strategies,Markets and Market Access,Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures,Access to Markets
    Date: 2008–07–01
  6. By: Estache, Antonio; Iimi, Atsushi
    Abstract: Infrastructure is the engine for economic growth. The international donor community has spent about 70-100 billion U.S. dollars on infrastructure development in developing countries every year. However, it is arguable whether these financial resources are used efficiently, particularly whether the current infrastructure procurement prices are appropriate. Without doubt a key is competition to curb public procurement costs. This paper analyzes procurement data from multi and bilateral official development projects in three infrastructure sectors: roads, electricity, and water and sanitation. The findings show that the competition effect is underutilized. To take full advantage of competition, at least seven bidders are needed in the road and water sectors, while three may be enough in the power sector. The paper also shows that not only competition, but also auction design, especially lot division, is crucial for reducing unit costs of infrastructure. Based on the estimated efficient unit costs, the annual financial needs are estimated at approximately 360 billion U.S. dollars. By promoting competition, the developing world might be able to save at most 8.2 percent of total infrastructure development costs.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Investment and Investment Climate,E-Business,Debt Markets,Infrastructure Economics
    Date: 2008–07–01
  7. By: King , Elizabeth M.; Behrman, Jere R.
    Abstract: Impact evaluations aim to measure the outcomes that can be attributed to a specific policy or intervention. Although there have been excellent reviews of the different methods that an evaluator can choose in order to estimate impact, there has not been sufficient attention given to questions related to timing: How long after a program has begun should one wait before evaluating it? How long should treatment groups be exposed to a program before they can be expected to benefit from it? Are there important time patterns in a program's impact? Many impact evaluations assume that interventions occur at specified launch dates and produce equal and constant changes in conditions among eligible beneficiary groups; but there are many reasons why this generally is not the case. This paper examines the evaluation issues related to timing and discusses the sources of variation in the duration of exposure within programs and their implications for impact estimates. It reviews the evidence from careful evaluations of programs (with a focus on developing countries) on the ways that duration affects impacts.
    Keywords: Primary Education,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Poverty Monitoring&Analysis,Education For All,ICT Policy and Strategies
    Date: 2008–08–01
  8. By: Czarnitzki, Dirk; Binz, Hanna L.
    Abstract: This study tests for financial constraints on R&D investment and how they differ from capital investment. To identify constraints in the access to external capital, we employ a credit rating index. Our models show that internal constraints, measured by mark-ups, are more decisive for R&D than for capital investment. For external constraints, we find a monotonic relationship between the level of constriction and firm size for both types of investment. Thus, external constraints turn out to be more binding with decreasing firm size. On the contrary, we do not find such monotonic relationships for internal constraints. Differentiation by firms’ age does not support lower constraints for older firms.
    Keywords: R&D Investment, Capital Investment, Financial Constraints, Panel Data, Censored Regression Models
    JEL: O31 O32
    Date: 2008

This nep-ppm issue is ©2008 by Arvi Kuura. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.