nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2012‒03‒08
six papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Testing for Avoidance of Environmental Obligations By Muehlenbachs, Lucija
  2. The value of design strategies for new product development: Some econometric evidence By Stephen Roper; James Love; Priit Vahter
  3. Local Public Goods Provision in the Post-Agricultural Tax Era in Rural China By Hiroshi Sato; Sai Ding
  4. Public Gains from Entrepreneurial Research: Inferences about the Economic Value of Public Support of the Small Business Innovation Research Program By Allen, Stuart D.; Layson, Stephen K.; L, Albert N.
  5. Whatever works: uncertainty and technological hybrids in medical innovation By Barbera, David; Consoli, Davide
  6. The Impact of a Feeder Road Project on Cash Crop Production in Zambia’s Eastern Province between 1997 and 2002 By Christian K.M. Kingombe and Salvatore di Falco

  1. By: Muehlenbachs, Lucija (Resources for the Future)
    Abstract: The environmental remediation required to permanently decommission most industrial projects is an expensive and irreversible investment. Real options literature shows that temporarily closing a project and postponing decommissioning has value when economic conditions are uncertain and future reactivation is possible. However, high decommissioning costs create an incentive to “temporarily” close a project, even when there is no intention to reactivate. This paper estimates a dynamic discrete choice model of closure to evaluate the likelihood of reactivation. The model reveals that the option to temporarily close is being widely used to avoid environmental remediation of oil and gas wells in Canada.
    Keywords: environmental remediation, real options, structural estimation
    JEL: Q30 Q47 Q58 C63
    Date: 2012–02–22
  2. By: Stephen Roper (Small and Medium Sized Enterprise Centre, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick); James Love (Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham); Priit Vahter (Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham)
    Abstract: Investments in design play a potentially significant role in new product development (NPD) although there is little unanimity on the most appropriate or effective design strategy. Previous case-study based studies have identified three alternative design strategies for NPD: design used as a functional specialism, design used as part of a multi-functional team and designer-led NPD. Using data on a large sample (c. 1300) of Irish manufacturing plants we are able to examine the effectiveness of each of these three design strategies for NPD novelty and success. Our analysis suggests that design is closely associated with success in NPD performance regardless of the type of strategy pursued. Adopting designer-led NPD, however, results in a much greater design effect on NPD performance than more functionally-oriented strategies. The impacts of design on NPD outcomes are also strongly moderated by other plant characteristics. For example, the beneficial effects of design on NPD outputs are only evident for plants which also engage in R&D. Also, while both small and larger plants do gain from using design as a functional specialism and as part of multi-functional teams, the additional benefits of design-leadership in the NPD process are only evident in larger plants.
    Keywords: Design, new product development, design-led, manufacturing, Ireland
    Date: 2012–02
  3. By: Hiroshi Sato; Sai Ding
    Abstract: This paper investigates regional differences in local public goods provision in rural area in the 2000s, using large village sample surveys (CHIP 2002 and 2007 surveys, a survey in Ningxia). Focuses are on changes in the coverage of public investment projects, regional differences in the determinants of public investment projects, and changes in the coverage of public services provided by village collectives. The main findings are as follows. First, we confirmed that coverage of public investment projects had increased in the 2000s. Second, in spite of concentration of fiscal administration into county level as one of the pillars of the reform of taxation and local fiscal system, administrative villages still played indispensable roles in local public goods provision. Third, we found that incentive of peasants, financial ability of villages, and incentive of local government affect location decision and budget structure of public investment projects and that direction and strength of such factors were different by regions.
    Keywords: Local Public goods, Village, Local Government, Rural China
    JEL: H2 H4 R5
    Date: 2012–02
  4. By: Allen, Stuart D. (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics); Layson, Stephen K. (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics); L, Albert N. (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper presents a systematic analysis of the net economic benefits associated with the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. We offer a derivation of producer and consumer surplus to estimate economic benefits. Fundamental to the implementation of these models is a specific value of the elasticity of demand, but in its absence we estimate what its value would be when the benefit-to-cost ratio associated with public support of the SBIR program equals unity. We infer from these calculations, and from general knowledge about the ability of SBIR-funded firms to exploit their monopoly position, that the SBIR program likely generates positive net economic benefits to society.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Innovation; Technology; SBIR Program; Benefit-to-cost Ratio; Program Evaluation; Producer Surplus; Consumer Surplus
    JEL: H43 O22 O31 O38
    Date: 2012–02–27
  5. By: Barbera, David; Consoli, Davide
    Abstract: The persistent uncertainty that looms over the search for solutions to health problems offers important conceptual insights for the study of technological change. This paper explores the notion of hybridization, namely the embodiment of multiple competing operational principles within a single medical device, as strategy to deal with the practical shortcomings due to said uncertainty. The history of the development of the hybrid artificial disk affords the elaboration of an alternative view of hybridization and, at the same time, the articulation of a dualism between medical science as area of basic research (e.g. what disease is) and as practical knowledge (e.g. how disease can be tackled).
    Keywords: Medical innovation; Hybridization; Uncertainty; Technological evolution; Implantable medical devices
    Date: 2011–12–16
  6. By: Christian K.M. Kingombe and Salvatore di Falco (Overseas Development Institute / Graduate Institute of International Studies / London School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the dynamic impacts of rural road improvements on farm productivity and crop choices in Zambia’s Eastern Province. There are several channels through which the feeder road improvements impact on farmers. Our aim is to estimate whether the differential outcomes in the five treatment districts and three control districts generated by the expansion of market agricultural activities among small to medium scale farmers could be explained by rural road improvements that took place after the new Chiluba MMD government in 1995 had completed an IMF rights accumulation programme bringing the principal marketing agent system to an end. Our district-level empirical analysis is an extension to the Brambilla and Porto(2005, 2007) cross-provincial level approach which proposes a dynamic approach accounting for entry and exit into the agricultural cotton sector to avoid biases in the estimates of aggregate productivity, when measuring productivity in agriculture applied to a repeated cross-sections of farm-level data from the Zambian post-harvest survey (PHS). Despite the limitations of the PHS data covering the period from 1996/1997 to 2001/2002 when the Eastern Province Feeder Road Project (EPFRP) was being implemented. The identification strategy relies on differences-in-differences of outcomes (i.e., cotton productivity) approach across two phases (pre-treatment and post-treatment). We use maize productivity to difference out unobserved household and aggregate agricultural year effects. Through our descriptive analysis we do find that changes in land allocation and in yields to Eastern Province’s most important cash crop – cotton did occur at the district level. However, it is difficult to conclude that these changes are linked directly to the improved accessibility obtained from the implementation of the EPFRP based on our differences-in-differences estimator or our Tobit model.
    Keywords: Impact evaluation, Cash crop choice; Cotton productivity; Africa; Zambia (Eastern Province).
    JEL: C2 C83 D2 O12 O13 Q12 R3
    Date: 2012–02–28

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