nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2013‒07‒05
seven papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Impact Assessment with Opt-in Treatments: Evidence from a rural development project in Nicaragua By Peralta, M. Alexandra; Swinton, Scott M.
  2. Better communication for successful food technology development: A Delphi study By Ragona, M.; Raley, M.; Sijtsema, S.J.; Frewer, L.J.
  3. Aid, disbursement delays, and the real exchange rate By Jarotschkin, Alexandra; Kraay, Aart
  4. "Incentive Pay that Causes Inefficient Managerial Replacement" By Meg Sato
  5. Impact evaluation of conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions By Gaarder, Marie; Annan, Jeannie
  6. The impact of consulting services on small and medium enterprises: evidence from a randomized trial in Mexico By Bruhn, Miriam; Karlan, Dean; Schoar, Antoinette
  7. Vocationalization in the research intensive university By Manuel Crespo; Houssine Dridi; Marie Lecomte

  1. By: Peralta, M. Alexandra; Swinton, Scott M.
    Abstract: In this study we conduct an impact evaluation of a complex rural development project in Central America with multiple treatments taking place simultaneously, purposive program placement and project participant freedom to opt in to project interventions. For this purpose we use propensity score matching difference-in-differences estimation, and compare results of this method with weighted propensity score regression and simple difference-in-differences estimation. We find short term project impacts in household savings, in participation in groups and associations, and in reduction of stored grain losses. However, we find no project impacts in long-term outcomes associated with increased agricultural income or household asset accumulation. These results are not surprising, since the project evaluation was conducted two years into a three-year project, before beneficiaries had realized its full benefits. Our study calls attention to the need of more research on linking short term to long-term impacts and on longer term strategies to evaluate impacts of agricultural technology.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, International Relations/Trade, O10, O13, Q1,
    Date: 2013–06–03
  2. By: Ragona, M.; Raley, M.; Sijtsema, S.J.; Frewer, L.J.
    Abstract: Despite developments in technology, design and marketing, many new food products are not successfully commercialised. Communication between key players with different expertise (food technologists, consumers scientists, end consumers, etc.) seems crucial to improve food technology development, respond better to consumer wishes and reduce innovation failures. In this study, preliminary results of a Delphi survey aiming to identify opinions and priorities of various key players regarding the elaboration of an effective communication strategy during food product development are presented. Survey participants were recruited from an ad-hoc online community and personal contacts from different areas of expertise and sectors. Results revealed that disciplinary differences constitute an important barrier to such communication, and these may relate to both theoretical and linguistic differences between communities. Inadequate communication between consumer scientists and food technologists is commonly (but not unanimously) regarded as a barrier to inclusion of consumer science data into product development. The problems include insufficient, ineffective and excessively late engagement and also non-engagement between actors. Some clear gaps between the perceptions of consumer scientists and food technologists exist, for example consumer scientists were more likely to agree that food technologists find it difficult to interpret consumer information, whereas food technologists were more likely to agree that consumer information is not specific enough for them to use. Given those identified barriers, it is important to explicitly recognise inter-disciplinary communication as a success factor in food development projects, with, e.g., the establishment of multi-disciplinary teams, and to improve knowledge and awareness of each other’s subject.
    Keywords: food product development, communication, food technology, consumer science, Delphi, Agribusiness, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Marketing, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession, C83, D83, M10, O32, Q16,
    Date: 2013–06
  3. By: Jarotschkin, Alexandra; Kraay, Aart
    Abstract: Aid donors and recipients have long been concerned that aid inflows may lead to an appreciation of the real exchange rate and an associated loss of competitiveness. This paper provides new evidence of the dynamic effects of aid on the real exchange rate, using an identification strategy that exploits the long delays between the approval of aid projects and the subsequent disbursements on them. These disbursement delays enable the isolation of a source of variation in aid inflows that is uncorrelated with contemporaneous macroeconomic shocks that may drive both aid and the real exchange rate. Using this predetermined component of aid as an instrument, there is little evidence that aid inflows lead to significant real exchange rate appreciations.
    Keywords: Macroeconomic Management,Debt Markets,Economic Stabilization,Emerging Markets,Economic Theory&Research
    Date: 2013–06–01
  4. By: Meg Sato (School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University)
    Abstract:    It is well known that granting incentive pay, such as stock-based compensation, to an agent mitigates the agency problem created by the unobservability of the agent’s e¤ort level. Using contract theory, this paper shows that stock options mitigate the moral hazard problem. However, they create another problem, namely, a misalignment of the interest between the principal and the …rm. Speci…cally, I consider an environment in which the principal can save her payments to the incumbent agent where the rational choice of the principal on whether to replace or retain the incumbent agent becomes an ine¢ cient decision from the perspective of total …rm value. The paper further examines both long- and short-term vested options may exhibit over-replacement of the incumbent agent, but only the short-term vested options may exhibit under-replacement, along the parametric range of control bene…t.
    Date: 2013–06
  5. By: Gaarder, Marie; Annan, Jeannie
    Abstract: The international community is paying increased attention to the 25 percent of the world's population that lives in fragile and conflict affected settings, acknowledging that these settings represent daunting development challenges. To deliver better results on the ground, it is necessary to improve the understanding of the impacts and effectiveness of development interventions operating in contexts of conflict and fragility. This paper argues that it is both possible and important to carry out impact evaluations even in settings of violent conflict, and it presents some examples from a collection of impact evaluations of conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions. The paper examines the practices of impact evaluators in the peacebuilding sector to see how they address evaluation design, data collection, and conflict analysis. Finally, it argues that such evaluations are crucial for testing assumptions about how development interventions affect change -- the so-called"theory of change"-- which is important for understanding the results on the ground.
    Keywords: Poverty Monitoring&Analysis,Post Conflict Reconstruction,Science Education,Scientific Research&Science Parks,Poverty Impact Evaluation
    Date: 2013–06–01
  6. By: Bruhn, Miriam; Karlan, Dean; Schoar, Antoinette
    Abstract: Using a randomized evaluation with 432 Mexican small and medium enterprises, this paper shows that access to management consulting led to better firm performance: one-year results show positive effects on return-on-assets and total factor productivity. Owners also had large increases in"entrepreneurial spirit"(an entrepreneurs'managerial confidence index). Using Mexican social security data, the analysis finds a large increase in the number of employees and total wage bill several years after the program. The paper documents large heterogeneity in the specific managerial practices that improved as a result of the consulting, but there is no singular mechanism as a panacea for all firms.
    Keywords: Access to Finance,E-Business,Microfinance,Economic Theory&Research,Business in Development
    Date: 2013–06–01
  7. By: Manuel Crespo; Houssine Dridi; Marie Lecomte
    Abstract: This paper analyses the trends in program creation, modification and abolition/suspension, during a ten year period, of three research intensive universities in Canada: Université de Montréal, Université Laval, and McGill University. The trends observed, by analysing the Minutes of the Commission des études in the case of Francophone universities and the ‘Senate Subcommittee on Teaching and Programs’ for McGill University, reveal a tendency toward vocationalization when changes are introduced in the academic programs supply. Data from 25 interviews of professors involved in university-industry collaborative research projects, conducted between April and June of 2007 in McGill University and University of British Columbia show also a tendency towards an utilitarian graduate training. Values of practicality, collaboration, interdisciplinarity and entrepreneurship, resulting from professors’ bisectorial and multisectorial collaborations with industry, are passed on to students, particularly graduate students. <P>
    Keywords: Vocationalization of higher education, vocational drift, graduate training, market demands, academic programs change, research intensive university,
    Date: 2013–06–01

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