nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2011‒03‒19
seven papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Financing transport infrastrucure projects in Italy: a critical analysis of the main approaches By Laurino, Antonio; Beria, Paolo; Grimaldi, Raffaele
  2. Evaluating the impact of innovation incentives: evidence from an unexpected shortage of funds By Guido de Blasio; Davide Fantino; Guido Pellegrini
  3. Are incentives for R&D effective? Evidence from a regression discontinuity approach By Raffaello Bronzini; Eleonora Iachini
  4. Virtual Collaborative R&D Teams in Malaysia Manufacturing SMEs By Ale Ebrahim, Nader; Ahmed, Shamsuddin; Abdul Rashid, Salwa Hanim; Taha, Zahari
  5. Methods for Evaluating Innovative Health Programs (EIHP): A Multi-Country Study By Thomas, Ranjeeta; Jones, Andrew M; Squire, Lyn
  6. Creative Destruction and Productive Preemption By Norbäck, Pehr-Johan; Persson, Lars; Svensson, Roger
  7. Are self-employment training programs effective? Evidence from Project GATE By Michaelides, Marios; Benus, Jacob

  1. By: Laurino, Antonio; Beria, Paolo; Grimaldi, Raffaele
    Abstract: This paper aims at analysing the methodology used for financing large infrastructure projects in Italy. In particular, it focuses on the Italian highway sector, where in the last years many projects have been launched using new financial instruments. The paper discusses three of these “instruments”. The first one is the Project Financing, discussed starting from a general review, analyzing also the different typologies used, the risks involved and their allocation among the various subjects that take part in the PF mechanism. A special case concerns the recently introduced model used for the Italian highways, known as “PF with takeover compensation”. There are two other important mechanisms used for financing infrastructure projects in Italy: the exploitation of road demand rigidity and the spreading of the investment over the entire network, favouring larger concessions. We conclude that all these three mechanisms present deep flaws in terms of transparency and of contradiction with economic feasibility criteria (that have to dominate the public investment rationale).
    Keywords: transport; investment; infrastructure; project financing; highway.
    JEL: H54 E62 L43 L33
    Date: 2010–04
  2. By: Guido de Blasio (Bank of Italy); Davide Fantino (Bank of Italy); Guido Pellegrini (Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza")
    Abstract: To evaluate the effect of an R&D subsidy one needs to know what the subsidized firms would have done without the incentive. This paper studies an Italian programme of subsidies for the applied development of innovations, exploiting a discontinuity in programme financing due to an unexpected shortage of public money. To identify the effect of the programme, the study implements a regression discontinuity design and compares firms that applied for funding before and after the shortage occurred. The results indicate that the programme was not effective in stimulating innovative investment.
    Keywords: R&D, public policy, evaluation
    JEL: O32 O38
    Date: 2011–02
  3. By: Raffaello Bronzini (Bank of Italy); Eleonora Iachini (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the literature on the effectiveness of R&D incentives by evaluating a unique investment subsidy program implemented in northern Italy. Firms were invited to submit proposals for new projects and only those that scored above a certain threshold received the subsidy. We use a sharp regression discontinuity design to compare investment spending of subsidized firms just above the cut-off score with spending by firms just below the cut-off. For the sample as a whole we find no significant increase in investment as a result of the program. This overall effect, however, masks substantial heterogeneity in the program’s impact. On average, we estimate that small enterprises increased their investments by about the amount of the subsidy they received from the program, whereas for larger firms the subsidies appear to have had no additional effect.
    Keywords: research and development, investment incentives, crowding-out, regression discontinuity design
    JEL: R0 H2 L10
    Date: 2011–02
  4. By: Ale Ebrahim, Nader; Ahmed, Shamsuddin; Abdul Rashid, Salwa Hanim; Taha, Zahari
    Abstract: This paper presents the results of empirical research conducted during March to September 2009. The study focused on the influence of virtual research and development (R&D) teams within Malaysian manufacturing small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The specific objective of the study is better understanding of the application of collaborative technologies in business, to find the effective factors to assist SMEs to remain competitive in the future. The paper stresses to find an answer for a question “Is there any relationship between company size, Internet connection facility and virtuality?”. The survey data shows SMEs are now technologically capable of performing the virtual collaborative team, but the infrastructure usage is less. SMEs now have the necessary technology to begin the implementation process of collaboration tools to reduce research and development (R&D) time, costs and increase productivity. So, the manager of R&D should take the potentials of virtual teams into account.
    Keywords: Small and medium enterprises; Collaborative tools; Questionnaires; Virtual teams
    JEL: O32 O14 M11 O43 Z0 L23 L15 O31 M21
    Date: 2010–11–11
  5. By: Thomas, Ranjeeta; Jones, Andrew M; Squire, Lyn
    Abstract: Designed as a global research initiative, the EIHP project aims at adding to the evidence base of health interventions that have the potential to improve health outcomes in Africa and Asia. The project focuses on rigorous, quantitative evaluations of innovative local initiatives that address the Millennium Development Goals for health: reductions in child and maternal mortality and communicable diseases. This overview brings together the outcomes and lessons from the project for evaluation methods. It draws together the methodological implications of carrying out impact evaluations under very different settings and emphasizes the need to build in evaluations in project designs.
    Keywords: Millennium Development Goals; child and maternal health; communicable diseases; impact evaluation; capacity building; Asia; Africa; Latin America
    JEL: C31 H53
    Date: 2010–07
  6. By: Norbäck, Pehr-Johan; Persson, Lars; Svensson, Roger
    Abstract: We develop a theory of innovation for entry and sale into oligopoly, and show that an invention of higher quality is more likely to be sold (or licensed) to an incumbent due to strategic product market effects on the sales price. Preemptive acquisitions by incumbents are shown to stimulate the process of creative destruction by increasing the entrepreneurial effort allocated to high-quality invention projects. Using data on patents granted to small firms and individuals, we find evidence that high-quality inventions are sold under bidding competition. Asymmetric information problems are shown to be solved by verification through entry for sale.
    Keywords: Acquisitions; Entrepreneurship; Innovation; Ownership; Patent; Start-ups
    JEL: G24 L1 L2 M13 O3
    Date: 2011–03
  7. By: Michaelides, Marios; Benus, Jacob
    Abstract: This paper presents new evidence on the efficacy of self-employment training programs using data from Project GATE (Growing America Through Entrepreneurship). Project GATE was an experimental design demonstration program that offered free self-employment training to a random sample of individuals who expressed a strong interest in self-employment. Our analyses show that the program was very effective in assisting unemployed participants start their own business, leading to significant gains in self-employment and overall employment in the early months following program participation. These impacts, however, dissipated over time. Despite the program’s impact on the rapid reemployment of unemployed participants, the program did not lead to significant gains in total earnings. Moreover, our analyses provide no evidence that the program was effective for participants who were employed, self-employed, or not in the labor force at the time of application.
    Keywords: self-employment; small business; unemployment; workforce development; SEA; Project GATE
    JEL: H4 J6 L2
    Date: 2010–02–01

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