nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2020‒01‒20
four papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Public opposition and the neighborhood effect: how social interaction explains protest against a large infrastructure project By Coppens, Tom; Van Dooren, Wouter; Thijssen, Peter
  2. Timely exposure of a secret project: By B Hermans; H Hamers; Roel Leus; R Lindelauf
  3. Learning from 20 Years of Research on Innovation Economics By Bruno Van Pottelsberghe
  4. Policy and market drivers for advancing clean energy By Dahlke, Steven

  1. By: Coppens, Tom; Van Dooren, Wouter (University of Antwerp); Thijssen, Peter
    Abstract: We find that distance to an infrastructure project has a significant impact on the levels of protest in neighborhoods, but distance is not the whole story. The presence of social capital and the presence of active protesters are good predictors of protest participation in the neighborhood. Contrary to expectations, the aggregated socio-demographic profile of a neighborhood is not significantly related to levels of opposition. These findings support theories on the collective efficacy of neighborhoods.
    Date: 2018–10–05
  2. By: B Hermans; H Hamers; Roel Leus; R Lindelauf
    Abstract: A defender wants to detect as quickly as possible whether some attacker is secretly conducting a project that could harm the defender. Security services, for example, need to expose a terrorist plot in time to prevent it. The attacker, in turn, schedules his activities so as to remain undiscovered as long as possible. One pressing question for the defender is: which of the project’s activities to focus intelligence efforts on? We model the situation as a zero-sum game, establish that a late-start schedule defines a dominant attacker strategy, and describe a dynamic program that yields a Nash equilibrium for the zero-sum game. Through an innovative use of cooperative game theory, we measure the harm reduction thanks to each activity’s intelligence effort, obtain insight into what makes intelligence effort more effective, and show how to identify opportunities for further harm reduction. We use a detailed example of a nuclear weapons development project to demonstrate how a careful trade-off between time and ease of detection can reduce the harm significantly.
    Date: 2018–10
  3. By: Bruno Van Pottelsberghe
    Abstract: This introductory chapter summarizes 20 years of research activities, which started at Universit´e libre de Bruxelles (ULB) with a four-year scholarship in 1992. These years are tainted by a focus on empirical research, by intensive local and international collaborations, and by a series of fieldexperiences which became key sources of inspiration and gradually improved the contextualization of the research projects I was involved with. The broad research contributions I have been involved with are twofold: I started with the effectiveness of science and technology policies, and then focused on the effectiveness of patent systems. Effectiveness has two meanings. The first one is related to the systematic search for improvement, the constant questioning of status quo, of existing policies, with the identification of their strengths and weaknesses. The second meaning of effectiveness is related to the improvement of data and metrics needed to properly analyze policy tools, and the search for more appropriate indicators. The papers presented in this book all aim at improving metrics and using new data and indicators in order to contribute to improve our knowledge on whether and how policy tools work. The effectiveness of science and technology policies is assessed through their impact on research and development (R&D) efforts and on growthprospects. We have investigated to what extent and under which circumstances R&D subsidies and R&D tax credits stimulate private R&D and contribute to productivity growth. The effectiveness of patent systems is assessed through the lenses of their costs, their operational design, theirtransparency and the stringency of the examination processes. The outcome of these 20 years of research includes about 60 publications in international peer reviewed scientific journals and one co-authored book published by Oxford University Press. Each of these publications was a small challenge, at least the way I perceived it. We had to reach a final version, present it at conferences, submit it for publication, cope with sometimes tough referees, dive again into the paper more than a year later and implement the required changes, and re-submit it with a polite letter to the referees and the editor. The main common denominator I would chose to summarize my research experience is ‘mobility’, defined in its broadest sense: mobility or flexibility with respect to career expectations, with respect to internationalization, with respect to institutional experience, and with respect to collaborations. The sources of inspiration of most papers were nearly systematically drawn from my professional experience. For instance, the priority issues that had to be tackled by the Research Institute of the Ministry of External Trade and Industry (METI) when I was visiting researcher, the benchmarking exercises requested by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) task forces when I was full-time consultant in Paris, and several debates which took place at the board of the European Patent Office when I was its Chief Economist had a direct influence on the research projects I later worked on.
    Keywords: learning, research, innovation Economics
    Date: 2020–01
  4. By: Dahlke, Steven
    Abstract: This chapter reviews important policies and market trends shaping the global development of clean energy technologies. Stimulus policies in the form of feed-in tariffs, tax relief, and renewable portfolio standards along with substantial research & development enabled clean energy projects to overcome early commercialization barriers. As a result, clean energy project costs are now competitive with or lower than conventional fossil fuels in most markets around the world. Policymakers and energy consumers are responding by increasing clean energy targets to high levels approaching 100% in a growing number of jurisdictions. Business models are adapting to this new environment and energy market structures are evolving to enable successful operations of high renewable energy systems. Markets structures, policies, and technologies that enhance system flexibility for efficient renewable energy integration represent the most promising future area of research in this field.
    Date: 2019–12–10

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