nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2009‒02‒14
five papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Identifying an Australian 'Shadow' Benefit / Cost Ratio for Public Projects By Lawrence, C
  2. Building The Business Case For Diversity In Offshoring By Carine Peeters; Patricia Garcia-Prieto; Sébastien Point
  3. Project finance in local public services: little finance and little project? By Chiara Bentivogli; Eugenia Panicara; Alfredo Tidu
  4. Innovation Success of Non-R&D-Performers: Substituting Technology by Management in SMEs By Rammer, Christian; Czarnitzki, Dirk; Spielkamp, Alfred
  5. Fungibility and the Impact of Development Assistance: Evidence from Vietnam's Health Sector By Wagstaff, Adam

  1. By: Lawrence, C
    Abstract: This paper examines the social opportunity cost of a hypothetical public project in Australia and compares these values with the cost of the project as measured by factor prices. Since 2001, the Australian taxation system has included an ad valorem tax, the Goods and Services Tax, however relatively little analysis of the impact of this tax on public project evaluation methods has been undertaken. This tax creates divergences between social opportunity cost and conventional cost measures. Therefore it is recommended that shadow prices be applied to pubic projects. Following Campbell (1975), a shadow price can be introduced into Australian project evaluation in the form of a cut-off benefit cost ratio. The calculations reported on in the paper indicate that this ratio lies between 1 and 1.3 for public projects in Australia.
    Keywords: allocative efficiency; cost benefit analysis; efficiency; optimal taxation; project evaluation; social discount rate
    JEL: H21 H43 D61
    Date: 2009–02–11
  2. By: Carine Peeters (Centre Emile Bernheim, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels and ECARES, Université Libre de Bruxelles.); Patricia Garcia-Prieto (Centre Emile Bernheim, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels.); Sébastien Point (Université de Franche-Comté, EM Strasbourg Business School.)
    Abstract: Offshoring inevitably leads to increased cultural diversity in work relations. Most companies perceive this increased diversity as a risk, a problem that needs to be minimized or remedied for offshoring to succeed. Building on the business case for diversity management literature we propose an alternative positive view of cultural diversity in the context of offshore relationships. We suggest that the increased cultural diversity that offshoring brings can actually be an opportunity companies should recognize and leverage in order to foster business performance. We specifically argue that under certain conditions related to the organizational context, type of project, teams, and tasks offshored, offshore projects driven by innovation might actually hold a unique competitive advantage through the utilization of their team cultural diversity.
    Date: 2009–02
  3. By: Chiara Bentivogli (Banca d'Italia); Eugenia Panicara (Banca d'Italia); Alfredo Tidu (Banca d'Italia)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the potential and the limits of project finance for the provision of local public services and compares them with alternative instruments in the light of current regulation. The main requirements for project finance, even in non “pure” forms, to justify its complex network of contracts, appear to be the presence of synergies between construction and service provision, the allocation of a substantial part of market risk to the private partner, and infrastructure that is large in scale. The available data and a survey carried out in the Emilia-Romagna region show that instruments similar to project finance are widespread in local public services. Yet the actual features of public finance in Italy seem to be far from those that would normally justify its use. The main reason for using project financing has often been to avoid an immediate and direct financial burden to the public administration or to bypass overly rigid rules in the public management of some services.
    Keywords: project finance, local public services, infrastructure, risk allocation
    JEL: D61 D81 H44 H54 H76 L33 L90
    Date: 2008–09
  4. By: Rammer, Christian; Czarnitzki, Dirk; Spielkamp, Alfred
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of in-house R&D and innovation management practices on innovation success in small and medium-sized firms (SMEs). While there is little doubt about the significance of technology competence for generating successful innovations, inhouse R&D activities may be a particular challenge for SMEs due to high risk exposure, high fixed costs, high minimum investment and severe financial constraints. SMEs may thus opt for refraining from R&D and relying more on innovation management tools in order to achieve innovation success. We analyse whether such a strategy can pay off. Based on data from the German CIS we find that R&D activities are a main driver for innovation success if combined with external R&D, using external innovation sources or by entering into cooperation agreements. SMEs without in-house R&D can yield a similar innovation success if they effectively apply human resource management tools or team work to facilitate innovation processes.
    Keywords: Innovation Success, R&D, Innovation Management, SMEs
    JEL: L25 O31 O32 O38 O47
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Wagstaff, Adam (The World Bank)
    Abstract: How can the impact of aid be estimated in the presence of fungibility? And how far does fungibility reduce its benefits? These questions are analyzed in a context where a donor wants to target its efforts on a specific sector and specific geographic areas. A traditional differences-in-differences method comparing the change in outcomes between the target and nontarget areas before and after the project risks misestimating the project's benefits. The paper develops an alternative estimation method in which intersectoral fungibility reduces project benefits insofar as government spending has a smaller impact in the sector to which the funds leak than in the target sector, while intrasectoral fungibility reduces benefits insofar as the donor is able to leverage productivity increases in government spending in the target areas. The methods are applied to two contemporaneous World Bank health projects that set out to target assistance on approximately one-half of Vietnam's provinces. Aid is not apparently fungible between Vietnam's health sector and other sectors, but is fungible across provinces within the health sector. Differences-in-differences yield an insignificant impact on infant mortality, while the use of the new method yields a statistically significant impact of around 4 per 1000 live births. The results, however, are ambiguous on the costs associated with intrasectoral fungibility.
    Keywords: foreign aid; fungibility; impact evaluation; child mortality
    Date: 2008–12–01

This nep-ppm issue is ©2009 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.