nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2012‒12‒22
eight papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Return on Investment in Workforce Development Programs By Kevin Hollenbeck
  2. Legal Enforcement, Default and Heterogeneity of Project Financing Contracts By Gabriel de Abreu Madeira
  3. Ability Dispersion and Team Performance: A Field Experiment By Hoogendoorn, Sander M.; Parker, Simon C.; van Praag, Mirjam
  4. The Impact of Balanced Skills, Working Time Allocation and Peer Effects on the Entrepreneurial Intentions of Scientists By Petra Moog; Arndt Werner; Stefan Houweling; Uschi Backes-Gellner
  5. Civil Service Reform: A review By Repucci, Sarah
  6. Collusion through joint R&D: An empirical assessment By Duso, Tomaso; Röller, Lars-Hendrik; Seldeslachts, Jo
  7. Decentralized Aid and Democracy By Joaquin Morales Belpaire
  8. Coffee Filters and Creativity: The Value of Multiple Filters in the Creative Process By Quan Hoang Vuong; Nancy K. Napier

  1. By: Kevin Hollenbeck (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)
    Abstract: Under more and more fiscal scrutiny because of shrinking state and local budgets, workforce development programs are being asked to estimate their return on investment (ROI). This paper introduces basic concepts of ROI in workforce development programs. It distinguishes ROIs estimated for workforce programs from those that are estimated for financial investments or capital projects. The paper furthermore exposits the basic ingredients of an ROI study—identification of the treatment and time periods of analysis, identification of the net impacts of the program, and identification of net costs. Finally, the paper presents results from the estimation of the ROI for postsecondary career and technical education in the State of Washington.
    Keywords: Return on investment, present value, net present value, benefit cost analysis, workforce development, postsecondary CTE, Washington state, human capital
    JEL: H43 J24 J68
    Date: 2012–11
  2. By: Gabriel de Abreu Madeira
    Abstract: Abstract: This paper employs mechanism design to study how imperfect legal enforcement impacts simultaneously on the availability (or scale) of credit for investment purposes and interest rates. The analysis combines two standard ingredients of the development and contract literatures: limited commitment, which encapsulates the idea that contract enforcement is imperfect, and asymmetric information about cash flows, which justify debt contracts and default under some circumstances. Costly use of courts may be optimal, which contrasts with results from most limited commitment models, where punishments are just threats, never applied in optimal arrangements. Numerical solutions for several parametric specifications, allowing for heterogeneity on initial wealth are provided. In all such solutions, wealthier individuals borrow with lower interest rates and run higher scale enterprises, which is consistent with stylized facts. The reliability of courts has a consistently positive effect on the scale of projects. However its effect on interest rates is subtler and depends essentially on the degree of curvature of the production function.
    Keywords: Limited Commitment, Credit Constraints, Legal Enforcement, Mechanism Design.
    JEL: D02 D82 L26 O12 O16
    Date: 2012–12–07
  3. By: Hoogendoorn, Sander M. (University of Amsterdam); Parker, Simon C. (University of Western Ontario); van Praag, Mirjam (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of diversity in cognitive ability among members of a team on their performance. We conduct a large field experiment in which teams start up and manage real companies under identical circumstances. Exogenous variation in – otherwise random – team composition is imposed by assigning individuals to teams based on their measured cognitive abilities. The setting is one of business management practices in the longer run where tasks are diverse and involve complex decision-making. We propose a model in which greater ability dispersion generates greater knowledge for a team, but also increases the costs of monitoring necessitated by moral hazard. Consistent with the predictions of our model, we find that team performance as measured in terms of sales, profits and profits per share first increases, and then decreases, with ability dispersion. Teams with a moderate degree of ability dispersion also experience fewer dismissals due to fewer shirking members in those teams.
    Keywords: ability dispersion, team performance, field experiment, entrepreneurship, knowledge pooling, moral hazard
    JEL: C93 D83 J24 L25 L26 M13 M54
    Date: 2012–11
  4. By: Petra Moog (University of Siegen); Arndt Werner (Institute for SME Research Bonn (IfM Bonn)); Stefan Houweling (University of Siegen); Uschi Backes-Gellner (Department of Business Administration (IBW), University of Zurich)
    Abstract: To date, little is known about the effects of the composition of skills on academic entrepreneurship. Therefore, in this paper, following Lazear’s (2005) jack-of-all-trades approach, we study how his or her composition of skills affects a scientist’s intention of becoming an entrepreneur. Extending Lazear, we examine how the effect of balanced entrepreneurial skills is moderated by a balanced working time allocations and peer effects. Using unique data collected from 480 life sciences researchers, we provide the first evidence that scientists with more balanced skills are more likely to have higher entrepreneurial intentions, particularly when they are in contact with entrepreneurial peers. Furthermore, we find even higher entrepreneurial intentions when balanced skill sets are combined with balanced working time allocations. Thus, to encourage the entrepreneurial intentions of life scientists, one has to ensure that they are exposed to diverse work experiences, have balanced working time allocations across different activities and work with entrepreneurial peers; i.e., collaborating with colleagues or academic scientists who have started new ventures in the past is important.
    Keywords: Jack-of-all-Trades, Skills, Entrepreneurial Intentions, Academic Entrepreneurship, Peer Effects, Working Time Balance
    JEL: O32 M13 J24
    Date: 2012–12
  5. By: Repucci, Sarah
    Abstract: Civil service reform is one of the most intractable yet important challenges for governments and their supporters today. However, civil service reform thus far has largely failed. Based on a review of existing literature, this paper presents principles fo
    Keywords: public administration reform; public sector reform; civil service reform; donor strategies; best practice
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Duso, Tomaso; Röller, Lars-Hendrik; Seldeslachts, Jo
    Abstract: This paper tests whether upstream R&D cooperation leads to downstream collusion. We consider an oligopolistic setting where firms enter in research joint ventures (RJVs) to lower production costs or coordinate on collusion in the product market. We show that a sufficient condition for identifying collusive behavior is a decline in the market share of RJV-participating firms, which is also necessary and sufficient for a decrease in consumer welfare. Using information from the U.S. National Cooperation Research Act, we estimate a market share equation correcting for the endogeneity of RJV participation and R&D expenditures. We find robust evidence that large networks between direct competitors - created through firms being members in several RJVs at the same time - are conducive to collusive outcomes in the product market which reduce consumer welfare. By contrast, RJVs among non-competitors are efficiency enhancing. --
    Keywords: Research Joint Ventures,Innovation,Collusion,NCRA
    JEL: K21 L24 L44 D22 O32
    Date: 2012
  7. By: Joaquin Morales Belpaire
    Abstract: The last three decades have seen an important surge of the non-governmental sector in the provision of foreign aid. Using NGOs to deliver aid can be a solution to bypass corrupt authorities, avoiding that aid resources are captured by local elites. However NGOs may also act as surrogates for governmental provision of public goods. This implies that citizens make their own governments less accountable. In democratic countries, this can reduce electoral support for provision of public services by the state and harm the poor that don't directly benefit from the NGOs' projects. We develop a theoretical model of vote over public finances to analytically characterise the effect of decentralised aid on welfare. We find that non-governmental aid can harm the poor, weaken governance and aggravate inequalities by crowding-out governmental expenditures. These inefficiencies occur even in a flawless institutional context. We also find that the crowding-out effect can be mitigated if NGOs target countries with low income inequalities or by focusing on humanitarian-oriented missions.
    Keywords: NGOs, Democracy, Foreign Aid, Decentralized Aid, Development, Public Economics, Political Economics
    Date: 2012
  8. By: Quan Hoang Vuong; Nancy K. Napier
    Abstract: Creativity is often defined as developing something novel or new, that fits its context, and has value. To achieve this, the creative process itself has gained increasing attention as organizational leaders seek competitive advantages through developing new products, services, process, or business models. In this paper, we explore the notion of the creative process as including a series of “filters” or ways to process information as being a critical component of the creative process. We use the metaphor of coffee making and filters because many of our examples come from Vietnam, which is one of the world’s top coffee exporters and which has created a coffee culture rivaling many other countries. We begin with a brief review of the creative process its connection to information processing, propose a tentative framework for integrating the two ideas, and provide examples of how it might work. We close with implications for further practical and theoretical directions for this idea.
    Keywords: 3-D Creativity; Serendipity; Aha! Moment
    JEL: C42 M13 O31 P27
    Date: 2012–12–12

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