nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2016‒08‒14
eight papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. The Valley of Death, the Technology Pork Barrel, and Public Support for Large Demonstration Projects By Gregory F. Nemet; Martina Kraus; Vera Zipperer
  2. Manager Assignment and Project Returns: Evidence from the World Bank By Nicola Limodio
  3. Media, Demonstrations, and Public Good Delivery: Evidence from World Bank Projects during Natural Disasters By Nicola Limodio
  4. Research Funding and Regional Economies By Nathan Goldschlag; Stefano Bianchini; Julia Lane; Joseba SanMartin Sola; Bruce Weinberg
  5. Mainstreaming Adaptation in National Development Planning By Juan Casado-Asensio; Anna Drutschinin; Jan Corfee-Morlot; Gisela Campillo
  6. Assessing Rural Development Programs in 4 EU regions and their potential to address climate concerns By Garcia-Alvarez-Coque, Jose-Maria; Chieco, Camilla; Di Virgilio, Nicola; Coninx, Ingrid; Ortiz-Miranda, Dionisio; Rossi, Federica; Zegg, Madlaina; Fülöp, Bence
  7. Socio-economic impact of land reform projects benefiting from the Recapitalisation and Development Programme in South Africa By Nomfundo Mabuza, Nosipho
  8. Analyzing the Impact of the World’s Largest Public Works Project on Crime By Satadru Das; Naci Mocan

  1. By: Gregory F. Nemet; Martina Kraus; Vera Zipperer
    Abstract: Moving non-incremental innovations from the pilot scale to full commercial scale raises questions about the need and implementation of public support. Heuristics from the literature put policy makers in a dilemma between addressing a market failure and acknowledging a government failure: incentives for private investments in large scale demonstrations are weak (the valley of death) but the track record of governance in large demonstration projects is poor (the technology pork barrel). We reassess these arguments in the literature, particularly as to how they apply to sup- porting demonstration projects for decarbonizing industry. Conditions for the valley of death exist with: low appropriability, large chunky investments, unproven reliability, and uncertain future markets. We build a data set of 511 demonstration projects in nine technology areas and code characteristics for each project, including timing, motivations, and scale. We argue that the literature and the results from the case studies have five main implications for policy makers in making decisions about demonstration support. Policy makers should consider: 1) prioritizing learning, 2) iterative upscaling, 3) private sector engagement, 4) broad knowledge dissemination, and 5) making demand pull robust.
    Keywords: Demonstrations, technology push, demand pull
    JEL: Q55 O31 O38
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Nicola Limodio
    Abstract: I study the impact of World Bank managers on project success through the value-added method. Manager effects are interpretable as performance indices and are more volatile than country effects. Both correlate positively with determinants of productivity (i.e., schooling and institutions respectively) and provide evidence of a negative assortative matching, with high-performing managers assigned to low-performing countries. Exploiting a novel variation for World Bank board access, I find a significant manager premium for countries in the board. All of these results are consistent with the World Bank behaving as a planner which assigns its managers as project inputs to client countries.
    Keywords: Development Lending, Personnel Economics, International Organizations, Cost-Benefit Analysis
    JEL: O19 M50 D61
    Date: 2016–08
  3. By: Nicola Limodio
    Abstract: Media can affect governments and public policy by promoting anti-government demonstrations. Under media pressure, a multitasking government might reallocate effort across tasks, rather than increase the total aggregate, resulting in ambiguous welfare effects. In this paper, I test such a hypothesis using a database of World Bank project indicators, which measures government performance in implementing capital projects. Disasters offer an ideal case study because citizens and the government can differ particularly in their preferences between public capital (reconstruction) and consumption (relief). Therefore, at times of disasters, media might be especially effective in shaping public policy by promoting anti-government demonstrations. Joining capital project indicators with data on disasters, media, and demonstrations,I present the following: (1) within-state variation in floods and media activity for Indian states; (2) within-country variation in disasters and media freedom for 135 countries; (3) a case study using anecdotal and archival evidence on flood response in Ghana, Togo, and Ivory Coast in 2007/2008. In all cases, media activity during disasters is associated with lower capital project performance, higher relief/anti-poverty efforts, and more anti-government demonstrations.
    Keywords: Disaster aid, government policy, media, natural disasters
    JEL: H84 I38 L82 Q54
    Date: 2016–08
  4. By: Nathan Goldschlag; Stefano Bianchini; Julia Lane; Joseba SanMartin Sola; Bruce Weinberg
    Abstract: Public support of research typically relies on the notion that universities are engines of economic development, and that university research is a primary driver of high wage localized economic activity. Yet the evidence supporting that notion is based on aggregate descriptive data, rather than detailed links at the level of individual transactions. Here we use new micro-data from three countries - France, Spain and the United States - to examine one mechanism whereby such economic activity is generated, namely purchases from regional businesses. We show that grant funds are more likely to be expended at businesses physically closer to universities than at those farther away. In addition, if a vendor has been a supplier to a grant once, that vendor is subsequently more likely to be a vendor on the same or related grants. Firms behave in a way that is consistent with the notion that propinquity is good for business; if a firm supplies a research grant at a university in a given year it is more likely to open an establishment near that university in subsequent years than other firms.
    Keywords: Science policy, innovation, regional economic development, UMETRICS
    Date: 2016–07
  5. By: Juan Casado-Asensio; Anna Drutschinin; Jan Corfee-Morlot; Gisela Campillo
    Abstract: This Working Paper explores progress in the integration or mainstreaming of adaptation and related objectives into national development planning. It first provides an overview of the international mechanisms, including finance, to support the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation into development planning and policies in developing countries. Through a review of relevant planning documents in fifteen developing countries, it then examines key features in adaptation planning and mainstreaming of adaptation into development planning. These countries were because they have been amongst the highest recipients of adaptation-related bilateral development finance. The research provides a snapshot of current practice. Despite heightened international efforts to support developing countries, evidence of mainstreaming adaptation was only found in a few of the countries and in a few of the sectors studied here. It also found that where mainstreaming is occurring, linkages exist with other policy objectives including poverty reduction, promoting biodiversity and ecosystems, and urban and rural development. The findings may be a useful starting point to guide policy-relevant research, such as to what extent mainstreaming may be occurring on the ground (or not) and how well this progress is reflected in planning documents, as well as how to improve the effectiveness of development co-operation targeting adaptation. The paper may also help inform international efforts under the UNFCCC that are designed to support developing countries to mainstream adaptation priorities into development planning and policy.
    Keywords: climate change, mainstreaming, development, adaptation
    JEL: N5 O13 O19 P48 Q56
    Date: 2016–08–06
  6. By: Garcia-Alvarez-Coque, Jose-Maria; Chieco, Camilla; Di Virgilio, Nicola; Coninx, Ingrid; Ortiz-Miranda, Dionisio; Rossi, Federica; Zegg, Madlaina; Fülöp, Bence
    Abstract: Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) are a step to mainstream climate concerns in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). National and Regional RDPs for 2014 – 2020 include instruments that promote mitigation and adaptation strategies for agriculture to enhance biodiversity, environmental value of rural landscapes, efficient water management and the transition to a low carbon bio-based economy with reduced rates of GHG and ammonia emissions. This contribution presents a comparative assessment of actions undertaken by two EU Member states, the Netherlands (NL) and Hungary (HU) (national programmes), and two regions, Emilia Romagna (ER) and Valencia (VLC), which represent distinct agricultural and forest systems. It shows that EU regions selected for the case studies move towards mainstreaming climate concerns in Pillar II policies. In the sample, actions on ecosystems under Priority 4 (‘Restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems’) represent between 30 and 50% of the foreseen RDP expenditure for the whole period 2014- 2020. Actions under Priority 5 (‘Resource efficiency and shift to a low carbon and resilient economy’) account for less than 20% of the RDP expenditure. Implementation and monitoring become key factors of success to guarantee that measures are not cosmetic and they actually influence the transition to a sustainable bio-economy. Further efforts should contribute to progressively integrate innovative solutions in future adjustments of RDPs. Finally, further analysis of the regulatory framework, red tape, cultural change, and social innovations will be required to improve RDP effectiveness to face climate change challenges.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Environmental Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2016–06–17
  7. By: Nomfundo Mabuza, Nosipho
    Abstract: Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MSc. Agric (Agricultural Economics) in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa. Advisor: Professor Charles L. Machethe
    Keywords: Socio-economic impact, Empowerment, Land reform, Household food security, RECAP, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2016–05
  8. By: Satadru Das; Naci Mocan
    Abstract: India started the implementation of a rural public works program in 2006, covering all districts of the country within three years. The program quarantees 100 days of employment per year at minimum wage to each rural household on demand, with the goal of reducing joblessness and poverty. We exploit the design and implementation of this program to investigate its employment impact on various types of crimes, ranging from burglary to kidnapping to riots. We show that the program acts as an insurance scheme because an increase in rainfall, which is negatively correlated with agricultural production, lowers the demand for jobs under the program. Controlling for rainfall, we find that employment generated by the program has a negative impact on both property and violent crime. Although crime elasticities with respect to employment are small, this finding represents another dimension of the social benefit generated by the program.
    JEL: H0 I3 I38 J08 J43 K42
    Date: 2016–08

This nep-ppm issue is ©2016 by Arvi Kuura. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.