nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2019‒04‒29
nine papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. International R&D networks of firms: A country-level analysis of the EU framework programmes By Ukrainski, Kadri; Kanep, Hanna; Kirs, Margit; Karo, Erkki
  2. Innovation, Productivity, and Spillovers Effects: Evidence from Chile By Crespi, Gustavo; Figal Garone, Lucas; Maffioli, Alessandro; Stein, Ernesto H.
  3. Is Blinded Review Enough? How Gendered Outcomes Arise Even Under Anonymous Evaluation By Julian Kolev; Yuly Fuentes-Medel; Fiona Murray
  4. Evaluation of Sketch-Level VMT Quantification Tools: A Strategic Growth Council Grant Programs Evaluation Support Project By Lee, Amy; Fang, Kevin; Handy, Susan
  5. Changing Workforce Development Needs for Regional Transportation Planning Agencies in California By O'Brien, Thomas; Reeb, Tyler; Jaishankar, Sneha
  6. Energy and Air Quality Impacts of Truck-Only Lanes: A Case Study of Interstate 75 Between Macon and McDonough, Georgia By Kim, Daejin; Guin, Angshuman; Rodgers, Michael O; Guensler, Randall
  7. Vermont Agency of Transportation Employee Retention and Knowledge Management Study By McRae, Glenn; Vallett, Carol; Jewiss, Jennifer
  8. MOVES-Matrix for High-Performance Emission Rate Model Applications By Guensler, Randall; Liu, Haobing; Xu, Xiaodan; Lu, Hongyu; Rodgers, Michael O.
  9. Advancing Understanding of Long-Distance and Intercity Travel with Diverse Data Sources By Dowds, Jonathan; Harvey, Chester; LaMondia, Jeff; Howerter, Sarah; Ullman, Hannah; Aultman-Hall, Lisa

  1. By: Ukrainski, Kadri; Kanep, Hanna; Kirs, Margit; Karo, Erkki
    Abstract: Empirical studies have shown that the internationalization processes of firms in re-search and development (R&D) are slower compared to those of trade or investments. The pioneers of R&D internationalization have been high-tech companies in small mar-kets with little research resources in their home countries. The motives for internation-alization in R&D besides widening the R&D resource base concern the search for the novelty value of collaboration for innovation, but the costs are associated with collab-orative capacity and lack of experience. EU has aimed at boosting Europe's industrial leadership and competitiveness via different policy instruments, mainly R&D subsidies to SMEs and larger firms for collaborative partnerships with various institutional and geographical scopes. By comparing FP7 and Horizon2020, two recent Framework Pro-grammes (FPs), the innovation focus has strengthened besides basic research within subsidized R&D activities. Additionally, the projects involve more partnerships between higher education and research institutions, private firms and public sector bodies. The picture of the network formed by supported projects shows a concentration around larger and older EU member states while the smaller countries, but also EU13 (the new member states) locating on the periphery. Individual countries are engaged in international R&D networks with different patterns, but for EU13 countries the network-ing barriers seem to be higher, even in the most successful cases the single partner (mostly SME) projects dominate. In gaining stronger hub roles in the private firm R&D networks, the economies in all countries need to improve connectivity within and out-side their communities.
    Keywords: R&D,innovation,EU13 countries
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Crespi, Gustavo; Figal Garone, Lucas; Maffioli, Alessandro; Stein, Ernesto H.
    Abstract: This paper estimates the direct and spillover effects of two matching grants schemes designed to promote firm-level research and development (R&D) investment in Chile on firm productivity. Because the two programs target different kinds of projects—the National Productivity and Technological Development Fund (FONTEC) subsidizes intramural R&D, while the Science and Technology Development Fund (FONDEF) finances extramural R&D carried out in collaboration with research institutes—analyzing their effects can shed light on the process of knowledge creation and diffusion. The paper applies fixed-effects techniques to a novel dataset that merges several waves of Chile’s National Manufacturing Surveys collected by the National Institute of Statistics with register data on the beneficiaries of both programs. The results suggest that while both programs have had a positive impact on participants’ productivity, only FONDEF-funded projects have generated positive spillovers on firms’ productivity. The analysis reveals that the spillover effects on productivity display an inverted-U relationship with the intensity of public support. Spillover effects were found to occur only if firms were both geographically and technologically close.
    Keywords: Chile, impact evaluation, innovation, matching grants programs productivity, spillover effects
    Date: 2019–02
  3. By: Julian Kolev; Yuly Fuentes-Medel; Fiona Murray
    Abstract: For organizations focused on scientific research and innovation, workforce diversity is a key driver of success. Blinded review is an increasingly popular approach to reducing bias and increasing diversity in the selection of people and projects, yet its effectiveness is not fully understood. We explore the impact of blinded review on gender inclusion in a unique setting: innovative research grant proposals submitted to the Gates Foundation from 2008-2017. Despite blinded review, female applicants receive significantly lower scores, which cannot be explained by reviewer characteristics, proposal topics, or ex-ante measures of applicant quality. By contrast, the gender score gap is no longer significant after controlling for text-based measures of proposals’ titles and descriptions. Specifically, we find strong gender differences in the usage of broad and narrow words, suggesting that differing communication styles are a key driver of the gender score gap. Importantly, the text-based measures that predict higher reviewer scores do not also predict higher ex-post innovative performance. Instead, female applicants exhibit a greater response in follow-on scientific output after an accepted proposal, relative to male applicants. Our results reveal that gender differences in writing and communication are a significant contributor to gender disparities in the evaluation of science and innovation.
    JEL: D70 J16 M14 O31 O32
    Date: 2019–04
  4. By: Lee, Amy; Fang, Kevin; Handy, Susan
    Abstract: The State of California has enacted ambitious policies that aim to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Some of these policies focus on reducing the amount of driving throughout the state, measured in vehicle miles traveled (VMT), given that transportation, primarily automobile use, is the largest single source of California’s GHG emissions. To encourage local plans and projects that reduce VMT, California has established several grant programs to which local jurisdictions may apply. These grant programs have generated a need for methods to estimate the potential VMT – and thus GHG – impacts of proposed planning efforts, land development projects, and transportation projects. A range of VMT estimation methods are available for use by funding applicants. Regional travel demand models, for example, are used to estimate the VMT and GHG implications of alternative scenarios in the development of federally-required regional transportation plans and state-required sustainable communities strategies. These models are resource intensive, however, requiring modeling expertise and sometimes many days to complete a single analysis. To fill the need for less resource-intensive methods more appropriate for localized plans and individual projects, upwards of a dozen “sketch†tools have been developed. These sketch tools vary in their approach and appropriateness for the breadth of development projects and project locations in the state. Practitioners are often unsure as to which method to use for a particular project and have little information to guide their choice. In this report we compare and evaluate VMT estimation tools across a sample of land use projects. We compare the results from different tools for each project, consider the applicability of methods in particular contexts and for different types of projects, and assess data needs, relative ease of use, and other practical considerations.
    Keywords: Engineering
    Date: 2017–08–01
  5. By: O'Brien, Thomas; Reeb, Tyler; Jaishankar, Sneha
    Abstract: The transportation industry faces future workforce challenges, including a lack of trained personnel in fields such as engineering, construction management, and intelligent transportation systems (ITS). The public sector will be particularly hard hit because it faces the threat of attrition at senior levels as skilled workers retire or move to the private sector. The issue of transportation workforce development has received attention at the national level. Research has been conducted through the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) on workforce needs of the public sector, although these focus exclusively on statewide agencies like DOTs. Little, if any, research has been done on the training and workforce needs at the regional level where Metropolitan Planning Agencies (MPOs), Councils of Government (COG), and transit agencies are engaged in both transportation planning and operations. In California, the workforce capacity of MPOs in particular was challenged by the 2008 passage of Senate Bill (SB) 375. This legislation uses the transportation planning process to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. It requires MPOs, in partnership with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), to establish greenhouse gas emissions targets. MPOs are also required to include a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) in the regional transportation plan that demonstrates how a given region will meet established targets. This project aims at understanding how fundamental changes from SB 375 and other legislative mandates have impacted MPOs from a workforce standpoint. Using online surveys, job scans, and in-depth interviews with members of COGs and MPOs in California, we determined the importance of several factors on workforce capacity. These factors include recruitment, available funding for professional development, curriculum content in college and university programs, and the role of in-service training. Results indicate that, for regional transportation planning agencies, there is an increased need for functional modeling expertise to comply with SB 375 mandates and the need to accommodate a shift toward activity-based modeling. The interview participants acknowledged that SB 375 increased responsibilities and changed processes for MPOs, including the need to consider the possible impacts to the agency of litigation over the SCS or the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). The interviews also indicated that, MPOs hire personnel with diverse skill sets—ranging from engineering to modeling and public outreach—to deliver on SB 375 goals. The report seeks to document the evolving role of MPOs resulting from the kind of mandates enacted by SB 375 and the concurrent demand for both traditional skills sets relating to regional planning processes and those that respond to demands for planners to: (1) Optimize existing projects by making them “smarter†and further ensuring that these projects contribute to environmental sustainability; and (2) link transportation planning to land use patterns with the intention of diminishing vehicle miles travelled (VMTs) and associated pollutants. These are new inextricable planning synergies that require planning professionals to marry traditional transportation planning skills with climate change assessment and abatement skills, referred to in this report as “sustainable transportation planning skills.†This expectation is tacitly set forth in SB 375 and is impacting employee hiring and retention, and employee salary needs, as well as the need for additional training and skill building. The study’s findings will contribute to the knowledge of workforce development needs as well as the potential for policy responses at the federal, state, and local level. View the NCST Project Webpage
    Keywords: Business, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Continuing education, Councils of government, Education and training, Labor force, Legislation, Metropolitan planning organizations, Regional planning, Surveys
    Date: 2018–11–01
  6. By: Kim, Daejin; Guin, Angshuman; Rodgers, Michael O; Guensler, Randall
    Abstract: Since heavy-duty truck operations can significantly affect traffic congestion, especially on road grade, the creation of exclusive lanes for trucks has been viewed as a potential alternative to reduce congestion delay, fuel consumption, and emissions. However, few studies have rigorously evaluated the effectiveness of truck-only lanes in achieving these benefits. This study demonstrates a model framework that combines a microscopic traffic simulation with emissions and microscale dispersion models to quantify the potential impacts of truck-only lanes on fuel consumption, emissions, and near-road pollutant concentrations. As a case study, the framework was used to evaluate a proposed $2 billion project to construct 40-miles of truck-only lanes on Interstate 75 (I-75) between Atlanta and Macon, Georgia (USA). The findings of this study suggest that truck-only lanes could significantly improve the traffic flow, and reduce energy, emissions, and pollutant concentrations. The research team expects that the extensive simulation results of this study help to understand the performance of truck-only lanes on a large-scale network with a heavy mixture of truck and general purpose lane traffic. The methodology and framework developed in this study can be effectively and efficiently applied to a wide variety of scenarios to evaluate the environmental impacts of other transportation projects under various conditions. View the NCST Project Webpage
    Keywords: Engineering, Air quality, Fuel consumption, Genetic algorithms, Greenhouse gases, Pollutants, Traffic flow, Traffic models, Traffic simulation, Truck lanes, Trucks
    Date: 2018–11–01
  7. By: McRae, Glenn; Vallett, Carol; Jewiss, Jennifer
    Abstract: Employee retention is a critical issue for organizations of all types. Public sector groups such as the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) are no exception. Not only can the costs of recruitment, training, and orientation approach 100% of the annual salary for the position being filled, but work disruption and loss of organizational memory can impact organization performance. Vermont is not alone in facing a transportation workforce challenge. A recent publication from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program for state departments of transportation stresses the importance of knowledge management (KM) in these organizations and provides guidelines for enhancing retention and talent management, two key issues to an effective workforce. As the report acknowledges, the constraints of retirements, departing mid-career employees, and the changing workplace expectations of the millennial generation all play into an organization that may face a steady decline in resilience, unless a clear plan is in place to address retention and implement KM practices. Recognizing these critical issues, VTrans leaders embraced an applied research project intended to assess the state of both retention and KM at the agency and develop pilot projects to address both areas. This policy brief summarizes the findings of that study. View the NCST Project Webpage
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences, Employees, Knowledge management, Labor force, Strategic planning
    Date: 2019–01–01
  8. By: Guensler, Randall; Liu, Haobing; Xu, Xiaodan; Lu, Hongyu; Rodgers, Michael O.
    Abstract: The MOtor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) model was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to estimate emissions from on-road and off-road vehicles in the United States. The MOVES model represents a significant improvement over the older MOBILE series of modes, primarily because emission rates are now truly modal in nature. Emission rates are now a function of power surrogates, which depend on speed and acceleration. Traffic simulation model outputs and smartphone GPS data can provide second-by-second vehicle activity data in time and space, including vehicle speed and acceleration. Coupling high-resolution vehicle activity data with appropriate MOVES emission rates further advances research efforts designed to assess the environmental impacts of transportation design and operation strategies. However, the MOVES interface is complicated, and the structure of input variables and algorithms involved in running MOVES to assess operational improvements makes analyses cumbersome and time consuming. The MOVES interface also makes it difficult to assess complicated transportation networks and to undertake analyses of large-scale systems that are dynamic in nature. The MOVES-Matrix system developed by the research team can be used to perform emissions modeling activities in a fraction of the time it takes to perform even one single individual MOVES run. The MOVES-Matrix approach involves running the MOVES model iteratively, across all potential input variable combinations, and using the resulting multidimensional array of pre-run MOVES outputs in emissions modeling. The research team configured MOVES to run on a distributed computing cluster, obtaining MOVES energy consumption and emission rate outputs for each vehicle class, model year, and operating condition, by calendar year, fuel composition (summer, winter, and transition fuels), local Inspection/Maintenance (I/M) program, meteorology, and other variables of interest. The team ran MOVES 146,853 times to generate the on-road emission rate matrices for Atlanta. More than 90 billion emission rates populate the primary output matrix, but implementation tools developed by the team generate matrix subsets for specific applications to speed up the analytical processes. In 2017-2018, the team developed MOVES-Matrix 2.0, which now integrates engine start, soak, evaporative, and truck hoteling emissions. The resulting emission rate matrices allow users to link emission rates to assess big data projects (such as regional emissions for emission inventory development) and to support near-real-time evaluations of changes in emissions for large, dynamic transportation systems. In the case study applications performed by the team, emission rate generation with MOVES-Matrix is 200-times faster than using the batch mode of MOVES graphic user interface in the same computer environment and the process predicts exactly the same emissions result. View the NCST Project Webpage
    Keywords: Engineering, Computer programs, Energy consumption, Greenhouse gases, Matrices (Mathematics), Pollutants, Simulation, Traffic data, Traffic simulation, Travel patterns
    Date: 2018–10–01
  9. By: Dowds, Jonathan; Harvey, Chester; LaMondia, Jeff; Howerter, Sarah; Ullman, Hannah; Aultman-Hall, Lisa
    Abstract: Long-distance travel is an ambiguous designation that is used to refer to an extremely diverse set of trips, differing from one another in mode, distance, and purpose. Long-distance travel encompasses everything from "short" long-distance surface trips between adjacent metropolitan areas through intercontinental air trips spanning thousands of miles. These trips serve a wide range of purposes including business travel, leisure travel, and travel to access essential services such as medical care. As such, long-distance travel is increasingly important for sustainable transportation planning both due to the environmental externalities associated with these trips and also because the benefits of access to long-distance travel are inequitably distributed throughout the population. This project drew on five survey datasets, a mobile-device based dataset from AirSage Inc., and semi-structured interviews to address research questions related to how best to measure long-distance travel, how long-distance travel influences well-being, and how access to long-distance travel varies among socio-demographic groups. Historically, transportation equity research has focused on access to local goods and services but access to long-distance travel and to more distant destinations is increasingly important for maintaining social networks and accessing economic opportunities and specialized services. Across multiple datasets in this project, there is ample evidence that lower-income individuals engage in less long-distance travel and have more unmet long-distance travel needs than their higher-income counterparts. Given both the theoretical and empirical evidence that long-distance and intercity travel is correlated with an individuals’ own sense of well-being, especially for leisure or personal purposes, inequitable access to long-distance travel cannot be ignored. This finding suggests generally that lack of equity in long-distance access has been masked by lack of data and is a policy concern that must be considered in sustainable transportation planning moving forward. View the NCST Project Webpage
    Keywords: Engineering, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Data analysis, Data fusion, Intercity travel, Longitudinal studies, Travel behavior, Travel demand, Travel surveys
    Date: 2018–07–01

This nep-ppm issue is ©2019 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.