nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2015‒05‒09
eight papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Slack Time and Innovation By Ajay Agrawal; Christian Catalini; Avi Goldfarb
  2. Risk Choices and Compensation Design By Carey, Mark S.; Sun, Bo
  3. Why CBO Projects That Actual Output Will Be Below Potential Output on Average By Congressional Budget Office
  4. Correlated Default and Financial Intermediation By Gregory Phelan
  5. Social and economic impacts of rural road improvements in the state of Tocantins, Brazil By Iimi,Atsushi; Lancelot,Eric R.; Manelici,Isabela; Ogita,Satoshi
  6. La charité islamique : un levier innovant pour le financement du développement ? By El Sharkawy, Nourhan
  7. Biodiversity and Development Co-operation By Anna Drutschinin; Juan Casado-Asensio; Jan Corfee-Morlot; Dilys Roe
  8. Learning to learn for innovation and sustainable development By van Kleef, J.A.G.

  1. By: Ajay Agrawal; Christian Catalini; Avi Goldfarb
    Abstract: The extant literature linking slack time to innovation focuses on how slack time facilitates creative activities such as ideation, experimentation, and prototype development. We turn attention to how slack time may enable activities that are less creative but still important for innovation, namely mundane, execution-oriented tasks. First, we document the main effect: a sharp rise in innovative projects posted on a major crowdfunding platform when colleges are on break. Next, we report timing and project type evidence consistent with the causal interpretation that slack time drives innovation. Finally, we present a series of results consistent with the mundane task mechanism but not with the traditional creativity-related explanations. We do not rule out the possibility that creativity benefits from slack time. Instead, we introduce the idea that mundane, execution-oriented tasks, such as those associated with launching a crowdfunding campaign (e.g., administration, planning, promotion), are an important input to innovation that may benefit significantly from slack time.
    JEL: J22 L26 O31
    Date: 2015–04
  2. By: Carey, Mark S. (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)); Sun, Bo (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.))
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of bad-tail risks on managerial pay functions, especially the decision to pay managers in stock or in options. In contrast to conventional wisdom, we find that options are often a superior vehicle for limiting managerial incentives to take bad-tail risks while providing incentives to exert effort. Arrangements similar to collar options are able to incent the desired project choice in wider range of circumstances than call options or stock. However, information requirements appear high. We briefly explore alternatives with features similar to maluses and clawbacks, which are a bit like weakening the limited liability of managers.
    Keywords: Compensation; Bad tail risk
    JEL: D86 G20 G34
    Date: 2015–01–26
  3. By: Congressional Budget Office
    Abstract: CBO’s estimate of the output gap—the percentage difference between actual and potential output—gauges slack or overheating in the economy. For the latter half of its 10-year projection period, CBO projects that actual output will grow at the same rate as potential output but fall short of potential by about half a percent, on average—matching the average estimated gap between actual and potential output from 1961 to 2009.
    JEL: E20 E27 O47
    Date: 2015–02–10
  4. By: Gregory Phelan (Williams College)
    Abstract: Financial intermediation naturally arises when borrowers' payoffs are correlated. I show this using a costly enforcement model in which lenders need ex post incentives to enforce payments from defaulted loans. When projects have correlated outcomes, learning the state of one project (via enforcement) provides information about the states of other projects. A large, correlated portfolio provides ex post incentives for enforcement and as a result borrowers default less frequently. Because borrowers behave differently with large lenders, intermediation dominates direct lending. Intermediaries are financed with risk-free deposits, earn positive profits, and hold systemic default risk.
    Keywords: Financial intermediation, systemic risk, default
    Date: 2015–04
  5. By: Iimi,Atsushi; Lancelot,Eric R.; Manelici,Isabela; Ogita,Satoshi
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to provide feedback on the question of socioeconomic benefits from rural road development and the impact of transport infrastructure on the poor, particularly the poorest and the bottom 20 percent of the population. This paper relies on impact evaluation methodologies, which are traditionally used in social sectors but less so in the transport sector. The study, including first surveys, was launched in 2003 under the Tocantins Sustainable Regional Development Project. The paper highlights the context that led to the project?s design, which included an impact evaluation of the works envisaged under the project. The paper also highlights some of the main challenges faced by this impact evaluation and how these challenges were addressed for the present study. It then provides details about the data collected during the surveys and the key relevant characteristics of the population targeted by the surveys. It discusses the possible estimation methods envisioned to undertake the study and provides the main results of the assessment based on these methods. The analysis shows that improved rural roads changed people?s transport modal choice. People used more public buses and individual motorized vehicles after the rural road improvements. The paper also finds that the project increased school attendance, particularly for girls. Although the evidence is relatively weak in statistical terms, it indicates that the project contributed to increasing agricultural jobs and household income in certain regions.
    Keywords: Regional Economic Development,Roads and Highways Performance,Regional Rural Development,Rural Roads&Transport,Transport Economics Policy&Planning
    Date: 2015–04–23
  6. By: El Sharkawy, Nourhan
    Abstract: For many centuries, forms of Islamic charity such as zakat (i.e. "obligatory" alms) and waqf (i.e. endowment or philanthropic foundation) have proven to be essential tools for economic and human development. Both of these schemes aim to reduce income inequality and to encourage productive investment and an entrepreneurial spirit among needy people. Despite their importance, zakat and waqf have received less attention in economic and financial strategies. Consequently, their potential for poverty alleviation and reducing unemployment has not been fully utilized. The main objective of this study is to provide an overview of an efficient management and investment strategies which maximize the revenues of charitable funds and enhance their contribution to socioeconomic development. We will also try to give answers to the following questions: What are the economic roles of zakat and waqf? Can Islamic charity be used as an innovative source of finance for development? How do we maximize returns on these flows to make them productive? Based on experiences in some countries of the Arab World, Africa and Southeast Asia, our study will show that good governance and tax exemption may be significant factors in increasing charitable giving. Therefore, investing charitable funds in socially responsible projects, based on expert knowledge of Islamic finance, should be an efficient strategy to provide permanent revenues and help solve the problems of poverty. Finally, cooperation between mainstream international development agencies and waqf and zakat institutions could improve their capacity to reduce poverty and social exclusion.
    Keywords: charitable funds; poverty; investments; economic development; Islamic finance; Arab World; Africa; Asia; fonds de charité; zakat; waqf; pauvreté; investissements; développement économique; finance islamique; Monde Arabe; Afrique; Asie;
    JEL: P45 O55 O53 O16
  7. By: Anna Drutschinin; Juan Casado-Asensio; Jan Corfee-Morlot; Dilys Roe
    Abstract: This paper considers how development co-operation is addressing the twin objectives of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use on the one hand, and development and poverty reduction on the other. It outlines how development co-operation can a) support mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem services into development; b) manage for results, particularly across trade-offs and synergies; c) incorporate monitoring and evaluating approaches into biodiversity-related development co-operation activities; and d) better align and harmonise providers’ activities with partner country priorities. The paper showcases examples of how development co-operation is supporting conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services. It also identifies areas where more research is needed, such as sharing experience with the tools and good practices available for successful mainstreaming, and developing indicators to improve monitoring and evaluation to boost understanding of the effectiveness of biodiversity-related development interventions and of the relative performance of different mainstreaming approaches.
    Date: 2015–05
  8. By: van Kleef, J.A.G. (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: Since the 1960s, the attention paid by policy makers and scientists to the negative environmental and social effects of economic development has grown steadily. However, although some progress has been made in a number of areas, unsustainable trends in the patterns of our systems of production and consumption have not changed to any significant degree. <br/>This research is based on the observation that innovation to improve sustainable development requires learning at societal, organizational and individual levels. Business practices influence the development of systems of production and consumption, and in order to move towards sustainable development there is a need for innovation in the way businesses learn and innovate. <br/>The research focuses on innovation processes and uses case studies of four innovation projects in the paper and board producing industry in The Netherlands. Three main aspects of innovation projects are identified: the development of innovation processes, the development of inter-organizational learning systems, and the development of capabilities that enable the innovation processes and the management of learning systems. On the basis of these aspects, a conceptual model is built that demonstrates the dynamics of inter-organizational learning for innovation. The conclusions drawn, with respect to learning for innovation and sustainable development, cover the fields of team diversity, learning from the past, joint decision-making, guidance by experienced senior managers, and dealing with the complexity of social issues and the dynamics of innovation projects.
    Date: 2014

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