nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2020‒04‒20
seven papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Scientific Grant Funding By Pierre Azoulay; Danielle Li
  2. Economic Viability of Large-scale Irrigation Construction in 21st Century Sub-Saharan Africa:Centering around an Estimation of the Construction Costs of the Mwea Irrigation Scheme in Kenya By Masao Kikuchi; Yukichi Mano; Timothy Njagi Njeru; Douglas J. Merrey; Keijiro Otsuka
  3. Integrative Economic Evaluation of an Infrastructure Project as a Measure for Climate Change Adaptation: A Case Study of Irrigation Development in Kenya By Daiju Narita; Ichiro Sato; Daikichi Ogawada; Akiko Matsumura
  4. Prospects of Integrating Biodiversity Offsets in Japan’s Cooperation Projects: A Review of Experience from Developing Countries By Tetsuya Kamijo
  5. ICO vs. Equity Financing Under Imperfect, Complex and Asymmetric Information By Miglo, Anton
  6. What matters in funding: The value of research coherence and alignment in evaluators' decisions By Ayoubi, Charles; Barbosu, Sandra; Pezzoni, Michele; Visentin, Fabiana
  7. Structured Common Project Financing (SCPF): Efficieny without Debt Mutualization By Christian Bauer; Marc-Patrick Adolph

  1. By: Pierre Azoulay; Danielle Li
    Abstract: This chapter provides an overview of grant funding as an innovation policy tool aimed at both practitioners and science policy scholars. We first discuss how grants relate to other contractual mechanisms such as patents, prizes, or procurement contracts, and argue that, among these, grants are likely to be the most effective way of supporting early stage, exploratory science. Next, we provide a brief history of the modern scientific grant and discuss the current state of knowledge regarding several key elements of the design of grant programs: the choice of program scope, the design of peer review, as well as approaches for creating incentives for risk-taking and translation for grant recipients. We argue that, in making these choices, policy-makers might consider adopting a portfolio-based mindset that seeks a diversity of approaches, while accepting that high failure rates for individual projects is in fact part of an effective grant-making program. Finally, increased rigor in the evaluation of grant programs is likely to raise the quality of funded proposals. In particular, randomized controlled trials and other quasi-experimental techniques might enable policy makers to communicate and enhance the impact that these programs have on discovery and innovation, thereby creating a stronger justification for their expansion or continued existence.
    JEL: I23 O31
    Date: 2020–03
  2. By: Masao Kikuchi; Yukichi Mano; Timothy Njagi Njeru; Douglas J. Merrey; Keijiro Otsuka
    Abstract: The main reason for the success of the 20th century Green Revolution in Asia was the development of large-scale irrigation projects. But, since the late 1990s, these investments were out of the development agenda, partly because the success of the Green Revolution reduced the need for such irrigation development and partly because the lower-than-expected performance of many large-scale irrigation projects resulted from difficulties in designing, constructing, operating, and managing large-scale irrigation schemes. This was the case in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) as well. During the past decade, however, large-scale irrigation development seems to be coming back in SSA as a means to promote a Green Revolution there. This revival has evoked heated discussion as to whether the conditions that made the large-scale irrigation projects an infeasible option have been overcome. This paper examines whether large-scale irrigation construction in SSA is economically feasible by estimating how much it would cost if the Mwea Irrigation Scheme in Kenya, one of the best performing irrigation schemes in SSA, were to be constructed today as a brand-new scheme. The results show that the new construction of the Mwea Scheme may be economically viable if the shadow price of rice is as high as the world price that prevailed during the mini-rice crisis in 2008-2013; however, the viability is marginal, by no means robust. The project costs per unit of beneficiary irrigated area of our hypothetical ‘Mwea Project’ and a few 21st-century large-scale irrigation projects in planning or under construction are two to four times higher than those of 20th-century counterparts. For such expensive projects to be economically viable, the agricultural performance of these projects must be two to four times higher as well, which means, in terms of rice yield, 9 t/ha/year to 20 t/ha/year. There is certainly untapped potential in SSA for large-scale irrigation development, either construction of new schemes or rehabilitation of the existing ones, but the economically feasible potential remains limited. International donor agencies and national governments wanting to plan large-scale irrigation projects are recommended to assess seriously whether their plan is economically and technologically feasible and indisputably superior to other types of irrigation development, many of which were not available during the construction boom in the 20th century but are available now.
    Keywords: Cost overrun, Cost structure, Malevolent hiding hand, Internal rate of return, Project overhead costs
    Date: 2020–01
  3. By: Daiju Narita; Ichiro Sato; Daikichi Ogawada; Akiko Matsumura
    Abstract: Abstract As climate change adaptation is becoming a recognized policy issue, the need is growing for quantitative economic evaluation of adaptation-related public investment, particularly in the context of climate finance. Irrigation, which enhances and stabilizes water supplies for farming, is a potential means of climate change adaptation, but attempts at economic evaluation of its effectiveness as an adaptation measure are few, in part because such assessments require an integration of various types of simulation analyses. Against this background, we conduct a case study of a Kenyan irrigation development project using a combination of simulation models to evaluate the effectiveness of that project for climate change adaptation. The results show that despite the uncertainties in precipitation trends, increased temperatures due to climate change have a general tendency to reduce rice yields, and that irrigation development will mitigate income impacts from the yield loss, i.e., will likely be effective as a means for climate change adaptation.
    Keywords: climate change adaptation, economic assessment, irrigation, agriculture, downscaling, runoff analysis, Africa
    Date: 2020–03
  4. By: Tetsuya Kamijo
    Abstract: Abstract Development-induced biodiversity losses continue unabated because most developments invariably result in some residual biodiversity loss. Mitigation measures in traditional environmental impact assessment (EIA) can rarely achieve the goal of No Net Loss (NNL). Biodiversity offsets are applied to the field of international development assistance to achieve NNL in accordance with mitigation hierarchy. However, there are few available references for planning offset projects for the aid practitioners in charge of cooperation projects in developing countries. The purpose of this working paper is to present a practical approach for incorporating offsets in Japan’s cooperation projects. The paper is based on a review of publications in academic journals and experience drawn from the four recent case studies on preparation of offset projects in developing countries. The paper advocates the need to integrate offset planning within the EIA framework. Based on the analysis of the case studies, prospects of biodiversity offsets in achieving NNL are analysed. The paper concludes that the introduction of offset policy, the political will for policy operation, and the long-term support to developing countries are important for the success of biodiversity offsets in cooperation projects. Japan’s initiatives toward biodiversity offsets can positively influence in promoting conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in developing countries.
    Keywords: Biodiversity offsets, cooperation projects, No Net Loss, environmental impact assessment, ecosystem services
    Date: 2020–03
  5. By: Miglo, Anton
    Abstract: This paper offers a model of a firm that raises funds for financing an innovative business project and chooses between ICO (initial coin offering) and equity financing. The model is based on information problems associated with both ICO and equity financing well documented in literature. The model provides several implications that have not yet been tested. For example we find that the message complexity can be benefitial for firms conducting ICOs. Also high-quality projects can use ICO as a signal of quality. Thirdly the average size of projects undertaking equity financing is larger than that of firms conducting ICO.
    Keywords: asymmetric information, complex information, initial coin offering (ICO), equity financing, signalling
    JEL: D82 G32 L11 L26 M13 M15 O32
    Date: 2020–04
  6. By: Ayoubi, Charles (EPFL - Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne); Barbosu, Sandra (; Pezzoni, Michele (Université Côte d’Azur/CNRS/GREDEG, Nice, OST-HCERES, Paris, and ICRIOS, Bocconi University, Milan); Visentin, Fabiana (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Entrepreneurs, managers, and scientists participate in competitive selection processes to obtain resources. The project they propose is a crucial aspect of their success. In this paper, we focus on the selection of scientists applying for academic funding by submitting a research proposal. We argue that two core dimensions of the research proposal affect the probability of funding success: its coherence with the applicant's previous work, and its alignment with subjects of general interest for the scientific community. Employing a neural network algorithm, we analyse the text of 2,494 research proposals for a prestigious fellowship awarded to promising early-stage North American researchers. We find field-specific heterogeneity in the committees' evaluations. In life sciences and chemistry, evaluators value the research proposal's coherence positively with the scientist's recent work and the proposals' alignment with the current subject of general interest for the scientific community. Conversely, in physics, evaluators give more weight to bibliometric indicators and less to the proposal coherence and alignment. Our results can be extended beyond the academic context to managerial implications in cases such as entrepreneurs and managers submitting project proposals to investors
    Keywords: Research trajectories, research funding, coherence, alignment
    JEL: I23 O32 O38
    Date: 2020–03–24
  7. By: Christian Bauer; Marc-Patrick Adolph
    Abstract: We propose Structured Common Project Financing (SCPF) as an stable, beneficial and political feasible financing tool for special purposes, e.g. Corona-Bonds, Green Deal Financing, Common Forces Budget. SCPF is an ABS-based common financing tool managed by a supranational organization like the ESM or the EIB. Our approach allows to overcome the huge and emotionally influenced political obstacle of joint liability by marginalizing the degree of jointness. SCPF creates significant interest savings compared to individual financing, 0.7% p.a. in the benchmark case. It is stable over time, robust to the emission of subgroup scenarios as e.g. a PIIGS bond and an EU- 6 bond, and insensitive to the evolution of the macroeconomic environment (risk-free interest rate).
    Keywords: Structured Common Project Financing, Joint Liability, Fiscal Union, EMU, Sovereign Debt, ABS, Corona-Bonds
    Date: 2020

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