nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2013‒08‒16
three papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Dynamics of transformation: Insights from an exploratory review of rice farming in the Kpong irrigation project: By Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Jimah, Kipo; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Diao, Xinshen; Funk, Rebecca Lee
  2. Learning to Argue with Intermediate Macro Theory: A Semester-Long Team Writing Project By Marketa W. Halova; Georg H. Strasser
  3. Peer Pressure and Productivity: The Role of Observing and Being Observed By Georganas, Sotiris; Tonin, Mirco; Vlassopoulos, Michael

  1. By: Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Jimah, Kipo; Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Diao, Xinshen; Funk, Rebecca Lee
    Abstract: Agriculture in African South of the Sahara (SSA) can be transformed if the right public support is provided at the initial stage, and it can sustain itself once the enabling environment is put in place. Successes are also specific to the location of projects. In Ghana, interesting insights are obtained from the successful Kpong Irrigation Project (KIP), contrasted with other major irrigation projects in the country. Through an exploratory review, we describe how a productive system evolved in KIP and how public support for critical aspects (accumulation of crop husbandry knowledge, selection and supply of profitable varieties, and mechanization of land preparation) might have created a productive environment that the private sector could enter and fill in the market for credit, processing, mechanization of harvesting, and other institutional voids that typically have constrained agricultural transformation in the rest of SSA.
    Keywords: agricultural transformation, agricultural profitability, Cultivation, Irrigation, Irrigation schemes, rice, Agricultural policies,
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Marketa W. Halova (Department of Economics, Washington State University); Georg H. Strasser (Department of Economics, Boston College)
    Abstract: We describe experiences from integrating a semester-long economic analysis project into an intermediate macroeconomic theory course. Students work in teams of "economic advisors" to write a series of nested reports for a decision-maker, analyzing the current economic situation, evaluating and proposing policies while responding to events during the semester in real-time. The project simulates real-world policy con- sulting with an emphasis on applying economic theory and models. We describe the project setup and how to tailor its theme to current events, explain methods for keep- ing it manageable in larger classes, and document student learning outcomes by survey results and report summaries. Besides improving the learning experience, this project equips economics students to contribute their own views to policy debates and buttress them with tight macroeconomic reasoning.
    Keywords: Teaching intermediate macroeconomic theory, nancial crisis, cooperative learning, team-based writing project
    JEL: A20 A22 E00 G01
    Date: 2013–08–11
  3. By: Georganas, Sotiris (Royal Holloway, University of London); Tonin, Mirco (University of Southampton); Vlassopoulos, Michael (University of Southampton)
    Abstract: Peer effects arise in situations where workers observe each other's work activity. In this paper we disentangle the effect of observing a peer from that of being observed by a peer, by setting up a real effort experiment in which we manipulate the observability of performance. In particular, we randomize subjects into three groups: in the first one subjects are observed by another subject, but do not observe anybody; in the second one subjects observe somebody else's performance, but are not observed by anybody; in the last group subjects work in isolation, neither observing, nor being observed. We consider both a piece rate compensation scheme, where pay depends solely on own performance, and a team compensation scheme, where pay also depends on the performance of other team members. Overall, we find some evidence that subjects who are observed increase productivity at least initially when compensation is team based, while we find that subjects observing react to what they see in a non-linear but monotonic way when compensation is based only on own performance.
    Keywords: peer effects, piece rate, team incentives, real-effort experiment
    JEL: D03 J24 M52 M59
    Date: 2013–07

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