nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2018‒09‒03
six papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Anchoring in Project Duration Estimation By Lorko, Matej; Servátka, Maroš; Zhang, Le
  2. Financing Sustainability and Resiliency of Transportation Infrastructure in an Era of Fiscal Constraint By Rouhani, M. Rouhani
  3. Performance-Based Contracts for Energy Efficiency Projects By Ding, Liang; Aflaki, Sam; Kapuscinski, Roman
  5. Economic Corridors and Regional Development: The Malaysian Experience By Athukorala, Prema-chandra; Narayanan, Suresh
  6. Increasing on-farm storage: innovation, prizes and public mechanisms that benefit small farmers By Ortiz, Rodrigo

  1. By: Lorko, Matej; Servátka, Maroš; Zhang, Le
    Abstract: The success of a business project often relies on the accuracy of its project duration estimates. Inaccurate and overoptimistic project schedules can result in significant project failures. In this paper, we explore whether the presence of anchors, such as relatively uninformed suggestions or expectations of the duration of project tasks, play a role in the project estimating and planning process. We conduct a controlled laboratory experiment to test the effect of anchors on task duration estimates. We find strong anchoring effects and systematic estimation biases that do not vanish even after the task is repeatedly estimated and performed. We also find that such persisting biases can be caused by not only externally provided anchors, but also by the planner’s own initial task duration estimate.
    Keywords: Project management, project planning, time management, anchors, anchoring effect, task duration, duration estimation, time estimation, anchoring bias
    JEL: C91 D83 D92 O21 O22
    Date: 2018–08–13
  2. By: Rouhani, M. Rouhani
    Abstract: In this short paper, I review several solutions in order to provide technical assistance to U.S. State officials in implementing new financing approaches for surface transportation projects. The general idea is to educate transportation officials on project funding and finance options, project planning and delivery, and life-cycle asset management. I examine a strategic plan and attempt to identify specific goals of such technical assistance.
    Keywords: Transportation system, Investment gaps, Education
    JEL: H1 R40 R48
    Date: 2018–08–17
  3. By: Ding, Liang; Aflaki, Sam; Kapuscinski, Roman
    Abstract: Energy efficiency projects are often executed by specialized entities, namely energy service companies (ESCOs). A typical ESCO's core business is conducted using performance-based contracts, whereby payment terms depend on the energy savings achieved. Despite their success in public, commercial, and industrial sectors, ESCOs in the residential sector are involved in fewer projects and face several challenges. First, an energy efficiency project often leads to changed consumption behavior; hence it is more difficult to evaluate the energy savings that are due to the project itself. The second challenge is that residential clients are more risk averse and, thus, less willing to contract for projects whose outcomes are uncertain. Third, a lack of monitoring protocols leads to ESCO's moral hazard problems. This paper studies ESCO contract design issues, focusing primarily on the residential market for energy efficiency. As opposed to other sectors, coordinating contracts do not exist. We show, however, that simple piecewise linear contracts work reasonably well. To improve their profitability, ESCOs can reduce uncertainty about the technology employed and/or develop ways of verifying post-project energy efficiency. Since policy makers are understandably keen to promote energy efficiency, we show also how regulations and monetary incentives can reduce inefficiencies in ESCOs' relationships and thereby maximize environmental benefits.
    Keywords: Sustainable Energy; Energy Efficiency; Performance-Based Contracts; Double Moral Hazard
    JEL: C44
    Date: 2017–02–27
  4. By: Bendoma, Marius; Ondobo Nkusa, Evrard Aurèle
    Abstract: Local communities nowadays play an important role in the implementation of development project. This study gives room for an assessment of the societal impact of an ongoing project in the energy sector in Cameroon. It is of keen interest to international financial institutions sponsoring the project to a great extent. However, it comes out that CSR in its contribution to sustainable development goes beyond the implementation of a project.
    Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP), Sustainable Development, Local Development, Lom Pangar.
    JEL: L14 L33 L53 L98
    Date: 2018–07–11
  5. By: Athukorala, Prema-chandra (Australian National University); Narayanan, Suresh (Universiti Sains Malaysia)
    Abstract: This paper examines prerequisites for a successful interstate economic corridor development program in a country with a federal system of government through an in-depth study of the design, implementation, and the developmental impact of the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) in Malaysia that encompasses the states of Penang, Kedah, Perak, and Perlis. The analysis suggests that the NCER has the potential to leverage on the core strengths of the state of Penang—global connectivity, mature business ecosystem with a strong presence of multinational enterprises, and sizable talent pool—in order to redress the widening interregional and urban–rural development divide. While it is too early to assess the full outcome of NCER initiative, a potential problem looms in the future. The Northern Corridor Implementing Authority (NCIA), charged with implementing projects in the NCER, is structured with no formal positions allotted to planning officials from the member states. This will not pose problems in implementing projects that are in broad alignment with the interest of the states. Conflicts will arise, however, when state and NCIA views on projects differ. This potential problem can be overcome by restructuring the NCIA to allow for the formal inclusion of planning representatives from member states.
    Keywords: economic corridor; Malaysia; regional development
    JEL: O18 O21 O53
    Date: 2017–12–01
  6. By: Ortiz, Rodrigo
    Abstract: Post-harvest losses of grain in the developing world lead to lower incomes among smallholder farmers and reduced farm-level food security. This problem is particularly acute in sub-Saharan Africa where post-harvest losses are estimated at US$1.6 billion per year. Moreover, insufficient on-farm storage solutions often lead farmers to sell soon after harvest and receive lower prices when the market is flooded or, even worse, to buy back grain later in the season at a higher price. Private-sector solutions to post-harvest losses exist, but companies often see low-income farmers as a risky and unattractive market. Smallholders do not understand the benefits, nor feel they can afford the solutions. AgResults’ Kenya On-Farm Storage Project uses prize competitions to incentivise the private sector to bridge this gap and enter into the market. This project is one of six innovative prize competitions of the AgResults Initiative, a partnership between the governments of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Prize competitions offer an innovative method for the public sector to use funds effectively and efficiently to engage the private sector. In the case of Kenya, the prize encourages companies to design, develop, market and sell new (or redesigned) on-farm storage devices to smallholder farmers. This presentation describes AgResults’ prize competitions, the Kenya On-Farm Storage Project, its impact and its sustainability. It discusses how prize competitions offer the development community an efficient and affordable mechanism to finance development programs in the future.
    Keywords: Farm Management
    Date: 2016–08–29

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