nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2017‒09‒03
seven papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Supervision and Project Performance: A Principal-Agent Approach By Lisa Chauvet; Paul Collier; Andreas Fuster
  2. Accountability in Complex Procurement Tenders By Bernard Caillaud; Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky
  3. Is there a strategy in China’s health official development assistance to African countries? By Marlène Guillon; Jacky Mathonnat
  4. Complex polysemy and reflexivity in organizational research By Michelle Harbour; Jacques-Bernard Gauthier
  5. The Structure and Performance of U.S. Research Joint Ventures: Inferences and Implications from the Advanced Technology Program By James D. Adams; Albert N. Link
  6. The experience matters: participation-related rewards increase the success chances of crowdfunding campaigns By Tobias Regner; Paolo Crosetto
  7. Promoting effective public-private partnerships for infrastructure development By Mathieu Verougstraete from the Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division.

  1. By: Lisa Chauvet (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine); Paul Collier (Oxford University - Sir William Dunn School of Pathology); Andreas Fuster (Federal Reserve Bank of New-York - Federal Reserve Bank of New-York)
    Abstract: This paper extends and applies principal-agent theory to the performance of donor projects. There is variation in the degree of divergence between the interests of the donor (the principal) and the recipient government (the agent). Further, the effort expended on observation of the agent is a control variable. We show that in a wide range of circumstances an implication of principal-agent theory is that the principal should put greater effort into observation the wider is the divergence of interest with the agent. We then test this prediction using data on World Bank project performance. We measure the degree of divergence between donor and recipient interests, as perceived by the donor, through a donor classification system of recipient governments. Consistent with the theory, we find that donor supervision of projects is significantly more effective in improving project performance where interests are widely divergent. However, donors do not put more effort into the supervision of projects in such cases.
    Abstract: Cet article étend et applique la théorie Principal-Agent à la performance des projets d’aide. Les intérêts du donneur (le principal) et du gouvernement receveur (l’agent) peuvent différer de manière importante. Dans le modèle, l’effort mis en oeuvre pour observer l’agent est une variable de contrôle. Nous montrons qu’une implication du modèle principal-agent est que le principal devrait faire d’autant plus d’effort pour observer l’agent quand ses intérêts divergent de ceux de l’agent. Nous testons ensuite ces prédictions en utilisant les données de performance des projets d’aide de la Banque mondiale. Nous mesurons le degré de divergence entre les intérêts du donneur et du receveur, telle que perçue par le donneur, par la classification des receveurs comme ‘partenariats difficiles’. Comme prédit par le modèle, nous trouvons que la supervision des projets d’aide par le donneur permet d’autant plus d’assurer le succès des projets que les intérêts du donneur et du receveur diffèrent. Toutefois, le donneur ne semble pas faire plus d’effort de supervision dans les partenariats difficiles.
    Keywords: Principal-Agent theory,Aid projects,Difficult partnerships,Théorie Principal-Agent,Projets d’aide,Supervision,Partenariats Difficiles
    Date: 2017–05–10
  2. By: Bernard Caillaud (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the issue of favoritism at the design stage of complex procurement auctions. A local community of citizens wants to procure a complex good or project and lacks the ability to translate its preferences into operational technical specifications. This task is delegated to a public officer who may collude with one of the firms at the design stage of the procurement auction in exchange of a bribe. Assuming that it is prohibitively costly to provide a justification for many aspects, we investigate two simple accountability mechanisms that ask the public officer to justify one aspect of the project, with the threat of being punished if he fails: a random challenge mechanism and an alert-based mechanism that requires justifying one aspect on which the rivals of the winning contractor send a red ag. Relying on losing contractors enables the community to deter favoritism significantly more easily than the random challenge procedure as it allows to use information that is shared by potential contractors in the industry. The level of penalty needed to fully deter corruption is lower, independent of the complexity of the project and depends on the degree of differentiation within the industry. Below this threshold, favoritism occurs in some states of nature and we characterize and compare the different equilibrium patterns of corruption under both mechanisms. A more elaborate example suggests that the alert-based mechanism tends to lead to more standard specifications of projects.
    Keywords: Procurement auctions,favoritism,accountability mechanism,D73, D82, H57
    Date: 2017–06
  3. By: Marlène Guillon (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Jacky Mathonnat (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Chinese health official development assistance (ODA) to Africa has largely increased since the beginning of the 2000’s. Even if China now ranks among the top ten bilateral donors for health aid in Africa very little is known about the determinants of Chinese health ODA to African countries. Our objective is to study the factors associated with Chinese health ODA to sub-Saharan Africa in the 2000-2013 period. We investigate the role of three types of factors that might influence the allocation of Chinese health aid: the needs of recipient countries, their merits and the self-interest of China. Chinese health ODA is measured using the 1.2 version of the AidData database constructed by the William & Mary University, the Brigham Young University and the non-governmental organization Development Gateway. In total, 389 health aid projects were financed by China in Africa between 2000 and 2013, accounting for a total amount of 2011 US$789 million. On these 389 projects, 194 (59%) correspond to the dispatch of medical teams, 109 (24%) to the sending of medical equipment or drugs and 77 (16%) to health infrastructure construction or rehabilitation. The annual number of health projects financed by China in Africa has increased sharply after the 3rd Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2006. We study the factors associated with the number of health projects and the amount of ODA received each year by African countries between 2000 and 2013. We stratify the analysis by types of projects (medical team dispatches/infrastructure and medical equipment or drugs projects) and by sub-periods (2000-2006/2007-2013). We use Poisson regressions to estimate both the number of projects and the amount of ODA received as Poisson regressions were shown to outperform OLS and Tobit models in the presence of heteroskedasticity and many zero observations. Pooled regressions, rather than fixed effect regressions, are used in order to exploit both inter and intra-country heterogeneity for the identification of factors associated with the allocation of Chinese health aid. We replicate the analysis using the shares of health projects and health ODA amount received by African countries each year using the fractional probit method relevant for the case of proportions as dependent variables Our results show that the motives of Chinese health aid have changed over the 2000-2013 period. In particular, Chinese political and economic interests, as measured by recipient countries’ UNGA voting alignment with China and openness rate to China, were less important in Chinese health aid allocation decisions over the 2007-2013 period that followed the 3rd FOCAC compared to the 2000-2006 period. On the contrary, taking into consideration health needs of recipient countries became more visible in Chinese health aid allocation decisions after 2006. Then, Chinese health diplomacy seems to have evolved from a rather “selfish” aid focused on political and economic self-interests to a more altruistic aid focused on health needs of recipient countries. The empirical analysis also highlights the complementarity of Chinese health ODA with its ODA in other sectors and that the allocation of Chinese health aid in African countries does not appear to be heavily related to health aid provided by traditional bilateral donors, suggesting that health aid cannot be seen as a way for China to promote its international visibility.
    Keywords: Health aid,Aid allocation,China,Africa.
    Date: 2017–05–09
  4. By: Michelle Harbour (UQO - Université du Québec en Outaouais - Université du Québec en Outaouais); Jacques-Bernard Gauthier (UQO - Université du Québec en Outaouais - Université du Québec en Outaouais)
    Abstract: Although it raises some interest in the field of social sciences, polysemy is often overlooked in organizational science, where research relies on positivist traditions. These traditions continue to influence researchers, regardless of their epistemological or methodological approaches; this in turn has an impact on the way they address polysemic terms. Our objective is to propose an integrative reflexive approach structured around eight topics of reflexion in order to explore how, in an organizational research project, both participants and researchers understand and use complex polysemic terms. By doing so, we bring four major contributions: it first highlights the central position polysemy could occupy in organizational science; secondly, polysemy could bridge and enhance the debate between positivist and interpretivist organizational researchers; thirdly, reflexivity for polysemy has the potential to improve the theorization; and finally, the mutual influence between polysemy and reflexivity could stimulate creativity.
    Keywords: theorization,reflexivity,polysemy,Research methods,creativity
    Date: 2017–06–20
  5. By: James D. Adams; Albert N. Link
    Abstract: Research Joint Ventures (RJVs) are projects that combine the research resources of different firms. A sample of RJVs supported by the U.S. Advanced Technology Program shows that the projects yield revenues that are far less than costs. Related to this point, the RJVs are subject to commercialization delays, loss of intellectual property, and product market competition. Partner firms undertake joint research, but if they commercialize at all, they do so separately, to avoid splitting of revenues from new products. Ultimately, difficulties with the RJVs occur because frequently, firms are potential competitors.
    JEL: D23 K21 L24 O31 O34 O38
    Date: 2017–08
  6. By: Tobias Regner (Friedrich Schiller University of Jena); Paolo Crosetto (GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - Grenoble INP - Institut polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes)
    Abstract: Crowdfunding recently emerged as an alternative funding channel for start-ups, creative artists and social endeavors. On specialized web platforms, project creators ask the crowd for support and provide in return a set of rewards, modulated according to the amount of support pledged. Our study investigates the role of self- and social-image enhancing rewards in determining project success. Using data from 346 projects hosted by Startnext, the biggest crowdfunding platform in Germany, we show that providing higher shares of reward levels that let pledgers participate in and experience the project is correlated with project success.
    Keywords: social-image,self-image,reward levels,identity,crowdfunding,entrepreneurial finance,donations
    Date: 2017–05
  7. By: Mathieu Verougstraete from the Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division. (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific)
    Abstract: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development puts infrastructure development at its core with at least 12 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) having a direct infrastructure link. To achieve these development objectives, governments are looking for appropriate financing strategies and involving the private sector is often considered by policy makers as a promising option to overcome resource constraints and improve public service delivery. Recognizing this potential, countries have included “promoting effective public-private partnerships†as one of the means of implementation for sustainable development (SDG-17). Furthermore the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) on Financing for Development confirmed “that both public and private investments have key roles to play in infrastructure financing, including through … mechanisms such as public-private partnerships†. Against this background, this policy brief outlines key infrastructure challenges in the Asia-Pacific region before exploring the benefits and limitation of PPP arrangements as well as the policy actions that are required for making the most of this mechanism.

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.