nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2014‒12‒29
seven papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Network Dynamics and Knowledge Transfer in Virtual Organizations: Overcoming the Liability of Dispersion By Gandal, Neil; Stettner, Uriel
  2. Direct and Cross-Scheme Effects in a Research and Development Subsidy Program By Hottenrott, Hanna; Lopes Bento, Cindy; Veugelers, Reinhilde
  3. Channeling the Say in Political Decision Bodies By Gersbach, Hans; Imhof, Stephan; Tejada, Oriol
  4. A field experiment in motivating employee ideas By Gibbs, Michael; Neckermann, Susanne; Siemroth, Christoph
  5. Sull’ipotesi di una ferrovia nelle valli di Fiemme e Fassa By Francesco Rossi; Giovanni Sacca'
  6. Aid and environment in Mozambique By Tomo, Alda; Giva, Nicia
  7. Is Abatement Effective in the Presence of Corruption? A Theoretical Exploration By Athanasios Lapatinas; Anastasia Litina; Eftichios Sophocles Sartzetakis

  1. By: Gandal, Neil; Stettner, Uriel
    Abstract: Product development within and across community-based and geographically dispersed virtual organizations is becoming an increasingly important mechanism through which individual knowledge holders create and disseminate knowledge in joint efforts to generate products. Without the benefits of face-to-face communication, such organizations face a particular set of constraints in their exposure to knowledge and know-how. This “liability of dispersion” increases the importance of the architecture of network ties that undergird the distinct development efforts, the embedded social structures, and the particular relationships involved in their product-generating efforts. In this paper, we examine whether particular network structures foster knowledge transfer among distinct open-source projects. We conjecture that Star developers—actors characterized by increasing levels of embeddedness and the associated ability to form ties with several projects within a network—serve boundary-spanning functions that facilitate an organization’s ability to collect, assimilate, and apply external information. We find support for this conjecture in our investigation of a network of open-source software projects and developers compiled from a dataset drawn from We also show that becoming part of a giant network component is associated with relatively large changes in project performance.
    Keywords: exploitation; exploration; Knowledge Spillovers; Network Dynamics; Open Source; social capital; Social Network
    JEL: L8
    Date: 2014–07
  2. By: Hottenrott, Hanna; Lopes Bento, Cindy; Veugelers, Reinhilde
    Abstract: This study investigates the effects of an R&D subsidy scheme on participating firms’ net R&D investment. Making use of a specific policy design in Belgium that explicitly distinguishes between research and development grants, we estimate direct and cross-scheme effects on research versus development intensities in recipients firms. We find positive direct effects from research (development) subsidies on net research (development) spending. This direct effect is larger for research grants than for development grants. We also find cross-scheme effects that may arise due to complementarity between research and development activities. Finally, we find that the magnitude of the treatment effects depends on firm size and age and that there is a minimum effective grant size, especially for research projects. The results support the view that public subsidies induce higher additional investment particularly in research where market failures are larger, even when the subsidies are targeting development.
    Keywords: complementarity; development subsidies; innovation policy; R&D; research subsidies
    JEL: H23 O31 O38
    Date: 2014–10
  3. By: Gersbach, Hans; Imhof, Stephan; Tejada, Oriol
    Abstract: We examine optimal procedures for public project provision, financing, and redistribution in democracy. We consider a large and heterogeneous decision body and show that first-best outcomes are obtained by a procedure that involves two proposal-making rounds, the right of the minority to move first, and a ban on subsidies for the agenda-setters. We explore the robustness of the result and consider applications of our rules. For instance, the result rationalizes those rules of democracies that grant minorities in the electorate or in parliament the right to initiate collective decisions on new project proposals. We further show that the above procedure constitutes the unique minimal form of political competition that ensures first-best outcomes.
    Keywords: constitutional design; majority rule; public project provision; subsidies
    JEL: D72 H40
    Date: 2014–09
  4. By: Gibbs, Michael; Neckermann, Susanne; Siemroth, Christoph
    Abstract: We study the effects of a field experiment designed to motivate employee ideas, at a large technology company. Employees were encouraged to submit ideas on process and product improvements via an online system. In the experiment, the company randomized 19 account teams into treatment and control groups. Employees in treatment teams received rewards if their ideas were approved. Nothing changed for employees in control teams. Our main finding is that rewards substantially increased the quality of ideas submitted. Further, rewards increased participation in the suggestion system, but decreased the number of ideas per participating employee, with zero net effect on the total quantity of ideas. The broader participation base persisted even after the reward was discontinued, suggesting habituation. We find no evidence for motivational crowding out. Our findings suggest that rewards can improve innovation and creativity, and that there may be a tradeoff between the quantity and quality of ideas.
    JEL: C93 J24 M52 O32
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Francesco Rossi (Department of Economics (University of Verona)); Giovanni Sacca' (Department of Economics (University of Verona))
    Abstract: The paper presents and discusses the possibility of a railway line serving the valleys of Fiemme and Fassa, in the heart of the Dolomites, a land of great value that attracts tourists staying for more than 7 million days/year. After summarizing the evolutive phases of the projects beginning in 1900 and of the recent projects Metroland and Qnex, it presents new hypotheses for the routes and estimates the costs of implementation and management as well as the benefits.
    Keywords: cost-benefit analysis, railway, Val di Fiemme, Val di Fassa
    JEL: D61
    Date: 2014–11
  6. By: Tomo, Alda; Giva, Nicia
    Abstract: Mozambique benefits from environmental aid-related funds, but it is still unclear whether donor commitments render directly into projects that are copiously implemented for the purposes stated and what aid flows have actually been doing and are doing in t
    Keywords: environmental aid, Mozambique, external funding, development aid
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Athanasios Lapatinas (University of Ioannina); Anastasia Litina (CREA, Université du Luxembourg); Eftichios Sophocles Sartzetakis (University of Macedonia)
    Abstract: The paper introduces an additional channel via which corruption may adversely affect environmental quality. It is argued that, in the presence of corruption, politicians may allocate a large fraction of public funds to environmental projects aiming not at improving environmental quality, but rather at increasing their ability to extract rents. This type of behavior has a direct and an indirect effect on environmental quality. First, due to extensive rent-seeking, the effectiveness of environmental projects is disproportional to the amount of public funds allocated to them. Second, citizens who observe the poor outcome of environmental projects, increase tax evasion thus reducing public funds. A vicious circle of extensive tax evasion and rent seeking activities emerges, that has a detrimental effect on envi- ronmental quality. Anecdotal evidence from a number of countries that experience high levels of corruption shows little or no improvements in environmental quality despite the implementation of environmental projects. In line with our theoretical findings, this ineffectiveness of the environmental policy is present even when the technology involved is advanced.
    Keywords: Corruption, Environment, Technology
    JEL: Q5 D73
    Date: 2014

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