nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2009‒01‒31
seven papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. A Game Theoretical Approach to Sharing Penalties and Rewards in Projects By Estevez Fernandez, M.A.
  2. A Case-Study on Project-Level CO2 Mitigation Costs in Industrialised Countries - The Climate Cent Foundation in Switzerland By Kunz, Laura; Muller, Adrian
  3. Firm size, managerial practices and innovativeness: some evidence from Finnish manufacturing By Heli Koski; Luigi Marengo; Iiro Mäkinen
  4. Authority versus Persuasion By Eric J. Van den Steen
  5. Instruments of development: Randomization in the tropics, and the search for the elusive keys to economic development By Angus S. Deaton
  6. Dynamic Tax Depreciation Strategies By De Waegenaere, A.M.B.; Wielhouwer, J.L.
  7. The influence of decision-making rules on individual preference for ecological restoration: Evidence from an experimental survey By Nobuyuki Ito; Kenji Takeuchi; Koichi Kuriyama; Yasushi Shoji; Takahiro Tsuge; Yohei Mitani

  1. By: Estevez Fernandez, M.A. (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes situations in which a project consisting of several activities is not realized according to plan. If the project is expedited, a reward arises. Analogously, a penalty arises if the project is delayed. This paper considers the case of arbitrary monotonic reward and penalty functions on the total expedition and delay, respectively. Attention is focused on how to divide the total reward (penalty) among the activities: the core of a corresponding cooperative project game determines a set of stable allocations of the total reward (penalty). In the definition of project games, surplus (cost) sharing mechanisms are used to take into account the specific characteristics of the reward (penalty) function at hand. It turns outs that project games are related to bankruptcy and taxation games. This relation allows us to establish the nonemptiness of the core of project games.
    Keywords: Project planning;delay;expedition;cost sharing mechanism;surplus sharing mechanism;bankruptcy problems;taxation problems;cooperative game;core.
    JEL: C71
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Kunz, Laura; Muller, Adrian (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: We analyse CO2 emissions reduction costs based on project data from the Climate Cent Foundation (CCF), a climate policy instrument in Switzerland. We draw four conclusions. First, for the projects investigated, the CCF on average pays € 63/t. Due to the Kyoto Protocol, the CCF buys reductions until 2012 only. This cutoff increases reported per ton reduction costs, as the additional lifetime project costs are set in relation to reductions until 2012 only, rather than to reductions realised over the whole lifetime. Lifetime reduction costs are € 45/t. Second, correlation between CCF’s payments and lifetime reduction costs per ton is low. Projects with low per ton reduction costs should thus be identified based on lifetime per ton reduction costs. Third, the wide range of project costs per ton observed casts doubts on the widely used identification of the merit order of reduction measures based on average per ton costs for technology types. Finally, the CCF covers only a fraction of additional reduction costs. Decisions to take reduction efforts thus depend on additional, non-observable and/or non-economic motives. Any generalisation of results has to consider that this analysis is based<p>
    Keywords: abatement cost curve; Climate Cent Foundation; climate policy; emissions reduction; mitigation costs
    JEL: D24 Q40 Q52 Q54
    Date: 2009–01–20
  3. By: Heli Koski; Luigi Marengo; Iiro Mäkinen
    Abstract: In this study we use a survey data on 398 Finnish manufacturing firms for the years 2002 and 2005 to empirically explore whether and which organizational factors explain why certain firms produce larger innovative research output than others, and whether the incentives to innovate that certain organizational practices generate differ between small and large firms, and between those firms that are operating in low-tech and high-tech industries. Our study indicates that there appear to be vast differences in the organizational practices leading to more innovation both between small and large firms, and between the firms that operate in high- and low-tech industries. While innovation in small firms benefits from the practices that enhance employee participation in decision-making, large firms that have more decentralized decision-making patterns do not seem to innovate more than those with a more bureaucratic decision-making structure. The most efficient incentive for innovation among the sampled companies seems to be the ownership of a firm's stocks by employees and/or managers. Performance based wages also relates positively to innovation, but only when it is combined with a systematic monitoring of the firm's performance.
    Keywords: Innovation, firm size, organizational practices, HRM practices
    JEL: L25 M54 O31
    Date: 2009–01–26
  4. By: Eric J. Van den Steen (Harvard Business School, Strategy Unit)
    Abstract: This paper studies a principal's trade-off between using persuasion versus using interpersonal authority to get the agent to 'do the right thing' from the principal's perspective (when the principal and agent openly disagree on the right course of action). It shows that persuasion and authority are complements at low levels of effectiveness but substitutes at high levels. Furthermore, the principal will rely more on persuasion when agent motivation is more important for the execution of the project, when the agent has strong intrinsic or extrinsic incentives, and, for a wide range of settings, when the principal is more confident about the right course of action.
    Date: 2009–01
  5. By: Angus S. Deaton
    Abstract: There is currently much debate about the effectiveness of foreign aid and about what kind of projects can engender economic development. There is skepticism about the ability of econometric analysis to resolve these issues, or of development agencies to learn from their own experience. In response, there is movement in development economics towards the use of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to accumulate credible knowledge of what works, without over-reliance on questionable theory or statistical methods. When RCTs are not possible, this movement advocates quasi-randomization through instrumental variable (IV) techniques or natural experiments. I argue that many of these applications are unlikely to recover quantities that are useful for policy or understanding: two key issues are the misunderstanding of exogeneity, and the handling of heterogeneity. I illustrate from the literature on aid and growth. Actual randomization faces similar problems as quasi-randomization, notwithstanding rhetoric to the contrary. I argue that experiments have no special ability to produce more credible knowledge than other methods, and that actual experiments are frequently subject to practical problems that undermine any claims to statistical or epistemic superiority. I illustrate using prominent experiments in development. As with IV methods, RCT-based evaluation of projects is unlikely to lead to scientific progress in the understanding of economic development. I welcome recent trends in development experimentation away from the evaluation of projects and towards the evaluation of theoretical mechanisms.
    JEL: C21 C31 C9 C93 O11 O12 O19 O22
    Date: 2009–01
  6. By: De Waegenaere, A.M.B.; Wielhouwer, J.L. (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: The tax depreciation decision potentially has significant impact on the prof- itability of firms and projects. Indeed, the depreciation method chosen for tax purposes affects the timing of tax payments, and, as a consequence, it also affects the after-tax net present value of investment projects. Previous research focusses on the optimal choice of depreciation method under the assumption that the de- preciation method has to be set ex ante and cannot be changed during the useful life of the asset. In reality however, changes are allowed under certain circum- stances. This paper develops a dynamic programming approach to determine the firm’s optimal choice with regard to the initial depreciation method, and whether changes of method are proposed in later periods.
    Keywords: Tax depreciation;Net Present Value;Dynamic Programming.
    JEL: C61 M41
    Date: 2008
  7. By: Nobuyuki Ito (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University); Kenji Takeuchi (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University); Koichi Kuriyama (School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University); Yasushi Shoji (Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University); Takahiro Tsuge (Faculty of Economics, Konan University); Yohei Mitani (School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University)
    Abstract: We conduct an experimental survey to analyze how rules for collective decision-making influence individual preferences concerning nature restoration projects. Our study compares two decision-making rules - a consensus rule and a majority rule - wherein participants decide on a plan concerning nature restoration in the Kushiro Wetland, Japan. Our main finding is that the difference between the individual preferences and collective decision-making is less significant under the consensus rule than the majority rule. Furthermore, there is a larger disparity with regard to the marginal willingness to pay between collective and individual decisions when participants are unsatisfied with the results of collective choice.
    Date: 2008–10

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