nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2017‒04‒30
eight papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Searching for the Devil in the Details: Learning about Development Program Design By Nadel, Sara; Pritchett, Lant
  2. Matching Donations Without Crowding Out? By Adena, Maja; Huck, Steffen
  3. The dynamics of investment projects: evidence from Peru By Rocío Gondo; Marco Vega
  4. Samaritan Bundles: Inefficient Clustering in NGO Projects By Gani Aldashev; Marco Marini; Thierry Verdier
  5. A Theory of Crowdfunding By Strausz, Roland
  6. Framework for analyzing and assessing the system of governance and the level of agrarian sustainability in Bulgaria and China By Bachev, Hrabrin; Ivanov, Bodjidar; Toteva, Desislava; Sokolova, Emilia
  7. Full cost analysis of accessibility By Mengying Cui; David Levinson
  8. Do Private Water Utilities Operators Care about Regulatory Agencies in Developing Countries ? By Salvador Bertomeu; Daniel Camos-Daurella; Antonio Estache

  1. By: Nadel, Sara (Harvard University); Pritchett, Lant (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Motivated by our experience in designing a particular social program, skill set signaling for new entrants to the labor market in Peru, we articulate the need for, and explore the empirical consequences of, alternative learning approaches to the design of development projects. Using a simulation, we demonstrate that even with only modest dimensioned design space and even modest "ruggedness" of the outcome with respect to design a naive iterative approach of "crawling the design space" dominates an RCT learning strategy. We suggest that the empirical results of RCTs to date are consistent with social programs having high dimensional design space and outcomes sensitive to design and hence project/program/policy design must depend on more robust learning strategies than the attempt to directly apply results from "systematic reviews" or move prematurely to an RCT.
    JEL: C93 D04 O12 O22
    Date: 2016–08
  2. By: Adena, Maja (WZB Berlin); Huck, Steffen (WZB Berlin and UCL)
    Abstract: Is there a way of matching donations that avoids crowding out? We introduce a novel matching method where the matched amount is allocated to a different project, present some simple theoretical considerations that predict reduced crowding out or crowding in (depending on the degree of substitutability between the two projects) and present evidence from a large-scale natural field experiment and a laboratory experiment. Similar to findings in the literature, conventional matching for the same project results in partial crowding out in the field experiment and, as predicted, crowding out is reduced under the novel matching scheme. The lab experiment provides more fine-tuned evidence for the change in crowding and yields further support for the theory: the novel matching method works best when the two projects are complements rather than substitutes.
    Keywords: charitable giving; matched fundraising; natural field experiment;
    JEL: C93 D64 D12
    Date: 2017–03–25
  3. By: Rocío Gondo; Marco Vega
    Abstract: We analyse the effect of commodity price cycles on firm investment decisions at the project level, by considering the decision to delay, cancel or complete a project as initially announced. In particular, we use logit and duration models of competing risks on a novel dataset of announced investment projects in Peru from different economic sectors. The empirical framework for the timing of investment is motivated by real option models for projects that take time to build, with commodity prices used as a proxy of expected future income and their volatility as a proxy for uncertainty. Our results suggest that both a reduction in commodity prices and an increase in volatility increase the probability to delay investment in the mining sector, with an amplification effect when both simultaneously occur. In other sectors, delays in implementation occur more often in periods of high volatility. Probability regressions under a competing risk framework suggest that higher commodity prices lead to a higher probability of completion in all sectors of the economy.
    Keywords: investment projects, panel logit, competing risks
    Date: 2017–03
  4. By: Gani Aldashev; Marco Marini; Thierry Verdier
    Abstract: We build a model with non-governmental organizations competing through fundraising for donations and choosing their project types. Donors’ willingness to give differs across project types. Each NGO chooses whether to compete in the larger donation market or to monopolize the smaller one. The resulting equilibrium configuration crucially depends on the asymmetry in potential donation market size and on donors’ perceived substitutability or complementarity between giving to two different projects. We analyze the welfare properties of the decentralized equilibrum and characterize the conditions under which such equilibrium is inefficient. We also develop a variant of the model with inter-temporal choices of NGOs, analyze settings where NGOs can coordinate their fundraising activities and/or project type choices, extend the model to allow for spillovers between NGO fundraising activities, and illustrate the mechanisms of the model with several case studies.
    Keywords: non-governmental organizations; fundraising; foreign aid; clustering
    JEL: L31 D64 F35 L13
    Date: 2017–04
  5. By: Strausz, Roland (Humboldt University Berlin)
    Abstract: Crowdfunding provides innovation in enabling entrepreneurs to contract with consumers before investment. Under aggregate demand uncertainty, this improves screening for valuable projects. Entrepreneurial moral hazard and private cost information threatens this benefit. Crowdfunding\'s after-markets enable consumers to actively implement deferred payments and thereby manage moral hazard. Popular crowdfunding platforms offer schemes that allow consumers to do so through conditional pledging behavior. Efficiency is sustainable only if expected returns exceed an agency cost associated with the entrepreneurial incentive problems. By reducing demand uncertainty, crowdfunding promotes welfare and complements traditional entrepreneurial financing, which focuses on controlling moral hazard.
    Keywords: Crowdfunding; entrepreneurship; moral hazard; demand uncertainty;
    JEL: D82 G32 L11 M31
    Date: 2017–03–25
  6. By: Bachev, Hrabrin; Ivanov, Bodjidar; Toteva, Desislava; Sokolova, Emilia
    Abstract: This framework is a part of a bilateral research cooperation project between Bulgaria and China on „Governing and Assessment of Agrarian Sustainability - Experiences, Challenges, and Lessons from Bulgaria and China“ funded by the Bulgarian Science Fund and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China ( First, major definitions are presented. After that a Framework for analyzing the system of governance of agrarian sustainability is outlined. Finally, a Framework for assessing sustainability levels of agriculture is presented. Theoretical and mythological approaches are previously presented by another publication (Bachev, Ivanov, Toteva, Sokolova). This framework is being used for analyzing the system of governance and the level of agrarian sustainability in Bulgaria and China, and comparative analysis between two countries
    Keywords: agrarian sustainability, governance, sustainability indicators, Bulgaria, China
    JEL: Q1 Q10 Q12 Q13 Q14 Q15 Q18
    Date: 2017–04–01
  7. By: Mengying Cui; David Levinson (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: Traditional accessibility evaluation fails to fully capture the travel costs, especially the external costs of travel. This study develops a framework of extending accessibility analysis combining the alternate (internal and external) cost components of travel, time, safety, emission and money, with accessibility analysis, which makes it an efficient evaluation tool for the potential needs of transport planning projects. An illustration of this framework based on a toy network was also built in this paper, which proves the potential of applying the extending accessibility analysis into the network of metropolitan areas.
    Keywords: accessibility, full cost analysis
    JEL: R40 D62 H23 R20 Q50
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Salvador Bertomeu; Daniel Camos-Daurella; Antonio Estache
    Abstract: This paper shows that the creation of an independent regulatory agency (IRA) is often not a necessary or sufficient condition to help countries attract private participation in the operation and financing of the water and sanitation sector of developing countries. The odds of an impact are, however, significantly higher for Latin American and Caribbean countries and to a lesser extent Eastern European countries, than for any other region. Higher income levels and higher prices are also correlated with a higher effectiveness of IRAs in attracting private sector financing. The analysis of the impact on the various types of PPP contracts shows that, at the margin, IRAs are irrelevant in general, to the contract choice, except for greenfield projects for which IRAs may be counterproductive at the margin.
    Keywords: regulation; regulatory agencies; water utilities; privatization; public-private partnerships
    JEL: L33 L38 L43 L51 L95 L97
    Date: 2017–04

This nep-ppm issue is ©2017 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.