nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2017‒01‒22
six papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Path dependence in energy systems and economic development By Roger Fouquet
  2. Network Capital By Akerlof, Robert; Holden, Richard
  3. Subsidizing research programs with "if" and "when" uncertainty in the face of severe informational constraints By Besanko, David; Tong, Jian; Wu, Jianjun
  4. Can grants to consortia spur innovation and science-industry collaboration? Regression-discontinuity evidence from Poland By Bruhn, Miriam; McKenzie, David J.
  5. Finance and Innovative Investment in Environmental Technology: The Case of Sweden By Lööf, Hans; Martinsson, Gustav; Mohammadi, Ali
  6. Family Engagement Impact Project (FEIP): Phase II Evaluation Report By Dana Petersen; Megan Shoji; Adam Dunn; Natasha Nicolai

  1. By: Roger Fouquet
    Abstract: Energy systems are subject to strong and long-lived path dependence, owing to technological, infrastructural, institutional and behavioural lock-ins. Yet, with the prospect of providing accessible cheap energy to stimulate economic development and reduce poverty, governments often invest in large engineering projects and subsidy policies. Here, I argue that while these may achieve their objectives, they risk locking their economies onto energy-intensive pathways. Thus, particularly when economies are industrializing, and their energy systems are being transformed and are not yet fully locked-in, policymakers should take care before directing their economies onto energy-intensive pathways that are likely to be detrimental to their long-run prosperity.
    Keywords: energy economics; energy policy; political economy of energy
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2016–07
  2. By: Akerlof, Robert; Holden, Richard
    Abstract: This paper explores the problem of assembling capital for projects. It can be difficult to assemble capital, when it is disaggregated, for a project that exhibits increasing returns. Small investors may be reluctant to participate, as they may question the ability of the project owner to raise the additional capital he requires. This suggests the possibility that agents with blocks of capital (capital that is already aggregated) might earn rents. Similarly, agents with "network capital" - that is, an ability to aggregate the capital of others - may earn rents. In this paper, we develop a theory of the rents attached to capital assembly, and discuss the implications for a range of issues from investment, to growth, to inequality.
    Keywords: increasing returns; inequality; investment; network capital
    JEL: D24 D30 D85 G30 L26
    Date: 2017–01
  3. By: Besanko, David; Tong, Jian; Wu, Jianjun
    Abstract: We study government optimal subsidy policies for research programs in the face of servere information asymmetry---when firms have private information about the likelihood of project viability but the government cannot form a unique prior belief about this likelihood. The paper makes two contributions. First, we show that the way in which R&D is subsidized matters. Under both monopoly R&D (i.e., a single firm conducts R&D in isolation) and R&D competition, different types of subsidies (e.g., earmarked, unrestricted subsidies, and pure matching subsidies) have significantly different effects on firms' R&D investment incentives. Second, we show that a simple subsidy scheme works even when the government is unable to form a unique prior belief about the firm's private information on project viability. If the shadow cost of public funds is zero, under monopoly R&D, there exists a pure matching subsidy that induces the firm to follow the first-best R&D policy irrespective of its prior beliefs about the viability of the project, meaning it is a (belief-free) ex post equilibrium policy; under R&D competition, the first-best outcome can also be achieved through a simple combination of a matching subsidy and an unrestricted subsidy. If the shadow cost of public funds is positive, an ex post equilibrium in general does not exist either under monopoly or competition. We then consider two alternative policy decision criteria that are appropriate for belief-free games: rationalizability and max-min criteria. We argue that the max-min criteria is preferable in our context, and by way of doing so establish that the set of max-min subsidy policies under either monopoly or competitive R&D consists entirely of simple pure matching subsidies. We further establish that allowing firms to form an R&D consortium reduces the matching rate for the highest max-min subsidy, suggesting that cooperative R&D has the potential to economize on the shadow costs of public funding of subsidies.
    Date: 2016–07–13
  4. By: Bruhn, Miriam; McKenzie, David J.
    Abstract: We use regression discontinuity to measure the impact of funding from Poland's In-Tech program on innovation activities carried out by consortia of firms and research entities. A detailed follow-up survey of applicants enables us to measure a wider variety of outcomes than typically used in the literature. We find the grants increase the probability of a project being completed by almost 60 percentage points, lead to more science-industry collaboration, and increase the probability of patents and publications related to the proposed project. We also find early effects on commercialization of products related to the proposed project.
    Keywords: innovation; R&D; regression discontinuity design; science-industry collaboration
    JEL: H25 O31 O38
    Date: 2017–01
  5. By: Lööf, Hans (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology); Martinsson, Gustav (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology); Mohammadi, Ali (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: This report discusses how financing difficulties can affect private sector innovation investments in environmental technology applied to the Swedish setting. Innovative investments are often intangible, the outcomes are highly uncertain, and information asymmetries between entrepreneurs and outside investors are potentially severe. These factors make external finance costly and drive investment in environmental technology below its socially desirable level. Recent evidence from the literature on financing and innovation suggests that financing constraints on innovation are likely economically significant. Therefore, policies and financial developments that affect the availability of finance can have important effects on economy wide rates of environmental technology innovation.
    Keywords: Clean technology; Innovation Investments; Financial constraints; Spillovers; Sustainable growth
    JEL: O32 O33 Q55 Q56 Q58
    Date: 2017–01–16
  6. By: Dana Petersen; Megan Shoji; Adam Dunn; Natasha Nicolai
    Abstract: This report describes grantees’ experiences and short-term outcomes during the implementation phase of the Family Engagement Impact Project (FEIP). It also presents recommendations for others interested in leveraging public-private partnerships in support of family engagement.
    Keywords: Foundations, child welfare, family support, engagement, public-private partnership, parents, education, immigrant
    JEL: I

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