nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2018‒05‒21
five papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Developing the master project manager. By Louis Lousberg; John Heintz
  2. Resource based industrialisation: evidence from the Iron-Ore project in Brazil By Guendalina Anzolin
  3. Connecting the Northeast: A Cost Estimate for the North South Rail Link By White, Laura; Rochet, Jean-Louis; Mathias, Pete; O'Gorman, Kate; Bilmes, Linda
  4. Carbon offsets out of the woods? Acceptability of domestic vs. international reforestation programmes in the lab By Baranzini, Andrea; Borzykowski, Nicolas; Carattini, Stefano
  5. SOCIAL FINANCE By Karan Bhanot

  1. By: Louis Lousberg; John Heintz
    Abstract: The education of project managers is mainly focussed on training in using prescriptive instruments such as PMBOK, PRINCE etc. (cf. Pant, 2007, Thomas et al., 2008, Ojiako et al. 2008, Thomas et al., 2008, Ramazani et al., 2014), while evidence is mounting that the increasing complexity of projects requires a different set of competences. In this situation, where scholars and practioners are seeking for ways to manage complexity, we reflect on the possibility that a design based approach project management might provide the basis for advanced project management education that prepares project managers deal with complexity.First we briefly review the literature on Design Thinking and particular on Design Thinking in Management. Next we explore the literature on Project Management Education. Finally we introduce the Project Design Cycle as a means to prepare project management students to deal with complexity. In particular we give an example on how this cycle can help to define (the problem of) the project and to facilitate learning from managers’ day to day-experience.
    Keywords: Complexity; Design Thinking; Education; Project Management%2C
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2017–07–01
  2. By: Guendalina Anzolin (PHD Candidate, Department of Economics, Society & Politics, Università di Urbino "Carlo Bo")
    Abstract: This paper aims to engage in the contemporary debate around the opportunity to diversify and upgrade a country’s economic system through the contribution of natural resource sectors. Adopting a revisitation of Hirschman’s linkage theory, the analysis looks at mining arguing that the outsourcing process changed the dynamics of the sector, which is now characterised by the promotion of high-level technology and innovation. By focusing on the Brazilian mining sector, the development of consumption and backward linkages is examined in relation to the S11D iron ore project. The specificity of the case presents an in-depth analysis, permitting a caseby-case, one size-does-not-fit-‐all evaluation approach, which is crucial in formulating appropriate policy solutions to problems facing developing economies. It is argued that, overall, mining had a positive impact on the region where it operates, with strong consumption linkages. Nonetheless, due to an absent formal public policy, while backward linkages related to innovation and knowledge services are well--‐‐developed and very often at the technological frontier, the ones related to capital goods are weak and in the hands of foreigner subsidiaries
    Keywords: industrial policy, structural change, natural resources, value-chain
    JEL: O14 O25 Q32 F21
    Date: 2018
  3. By: White, Laura (Harvard University); Rochet, Jean-Louis (Harvard University); Mathias, Pete (Harvard University); O'Gorman, Kate (Harvard University); Bilmes, Linda (Harvard University)
    Abstract: This paper presents rough order-of- magnitude estimates for the capital cost of the North South Rail Link (the “Link†), a proposed infrastructure project to connect the commuter rail and Amtrak lines that currently terminate at Boston’s North and South Stations via underground tunnels. The Link’s design and construction cost was estimated using a financial model built from actual line item-costs in the Federal Transportation Administration's database of transportation projects. A regression analysis of comparable completed tunneling projects was performed to validate this estimate. The Link is estimated to cost approximately $5.9 billion in 2025 dollars for the maximum build alternative (two tunnels, four tracks, and three stations). The minimum build alternative (one tunnel, two tracks, and two stations) is estimated to cost approximately $3.8 billion. Both estimates represent a mean of several estimation techniques and are the center of a distribution of possible cost outcomes. The study also identified the areas in which cost overruns have occurred in previous tunnel and rail projects and proposes steps to mitigate against such overruns. The study did not examine the potential benefits of constructing the Link and we recommend further study of both the costs and benefits of this important project.
    Date: 2017–08
  4. By: Baranzini, Andrea; Borzykowski, Nicolas; Carattini, Stefano
    Abstract: Following the entry into force of the Paris Agreement in November 2016, governments around the world are now expected to turn their nationally determined contributions into concrete climate policies. Given the global public good nature of climate change mitigation and the important cross-country differences in marginal abatement costs, distributing mitigation efforts across countries could substantially lower the overall cost of implementing climate policy. However, abating emissions abroad instead of domestically may face important political and popular resistance. We ran a lab experiment with more than 300 participants and asked them to choose between a domestic and an international reforestation project. We tested the effect of three informational treatments on the allocation of participants’ endowment between the domestic and the international project. The treatments consisted in: (1) making more salient the cost-effectiveness gains associated with offsetting carbon abroad; (2) providing guarantees on the reliability of reforestation programmes; (3) stressing local ancillary benefits associated with domestic offset projects. We found that stressing the cost-effectiveness of the reforestation programme abroad did increase its support, the economic argument in favour of offsetting abroad being otherwise overlooked by participants. We relate this finding to the recent literature on the drivers of public support for climate policies, generally pointing to a gap between people's preferences and economists’ prescriptions.
    Keywords: forest policy; climate policy; carbon offsets; reforestation; acceptability
    JEL: Q23 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2018–08–01
  5. By: Karan Bhanot (UTSA)
    Abstract: This paper characterizes the optimal contract for the financing of social programs. “Social- Finance” is unique insofar that it considers the constraints of many participating agents (government, non-profits, the implementation agency and private investors), that program outcomes are apparent only over long periods in time, and that effort and expertise of the implementing agencies is private information. We illustrate the financing of programs for the remediation juvenile crime and homelessness using publicly available data.
    Keywords: government, non-profits, the implementation agency and private investors
    JEL: G10
    Date: 2016–09–20

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