nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2020‒09‒28
seven papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Fiscal stimulus for low-carbon compatible COVID-19 recovery: criteria for infrastructure investment By Frank Jotzo; Thomas Longden; Zeba Anjum
  2. Do Exit Options Increase the Value-For-Money of Public-Private Partnerships? By Buso, Marco; Dosi, Cesare; Moretto, Michele
  3. Collaboration in Bipartite Networks, with an Application to Coauthorship Networks By Chih-Sheng Hsieh; Michael D. König; Xiaodong Liu; Christian Zimmermann
  4. Leadership for a high performing civil service: Towards a senior civil service systems in OECD countries By Daniel Gerson
  5. Renewable Energy in Morocco: a reign-long project By Henri-Louis Vedie
  6. Trapped in the “zero-risk” society and how to break free By Didier Sornette; Peter Cauwels
  7. Improving the credibility of empirical legal research: practical suggestions for researchers, journals, and law schools By Chin, Jason; DeHaven, Alexander Carl; Heycke, Tobias; Holcombe, Alex O.; Mellor, David Thomas; Pickett, Justin; Steltenpohl, Crystal Nicole; Vazire, Simine; Zeiler, Kathryn

  1. By: Frank Jotzo (Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University); Thomas Longden (Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University); Zeba Anjum (Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University)
    Abstract: To counteract the recession caused by the measures to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, governments are implementing fiscal stimulus measures for economic recovery. In addition to keeping people in jobs and businesses afloat, public investment can improve productivity and economic growth prospects, resilience and quality of life for the long term. Importantly, it can also help achieve long-term low-carbon trajectories, especially where new stimulus spending goes to infrastructure projects. This paper takes stock of approaches for evaluating and choosing options for public investment in projects and programs that support economic recovery, are consistent with a low-carbon transition, and bring broader economic, environmental and social benefits. We develop a multi-criteria analysis framework and illustratively apply this to infrastructure projects and programs in Australia that have previously been designated as priorities. Promising categories for public stimulus include renewable energy supply including by fast-tracking renewable energy zones and transmission investment, some types of transport infrastructure projects, energy efficiency programs including retrofits of public housing and buildings, and land management projects including to restore ecosystems that were damaged in Australia’s bushfires. Investments like these hold promise to create jobs and local economic activity, while supporting lower-carbon outcomes and achieving other societal goals. Comprehensive evaluation of public investment options along a clear set of criteria can help improve decision making on public infrastructure investments, and transparency about public policy objectives may also inspire greater public confidence in how governments make funding decisions in COVID-19 recovery.
    Date: 2020–06
  2. By: Buso, Marco; Dosi, Cesare; Moretto, Michele
    Abstract: We study the effects of granting an exit option that enables the private party to early terminate a PPP project if it turns out to be financially loss-making. In a continuous-time setting with hidden information about operating profits, we show that an exit option, acting as a risk-sharing device, can soften agency problems and, in so doing, accelerate investment and increase the government's expected payoff, even while taking into account the costs that the public sector will have to meet in the future to take direct responsibility on service provision.
    Keywords: Institutional and Behavioral Economics
    Date: 2020–09–15
  3. By: Chih-Sheng Hsieh; Michael D. König; Xiaodong Liu; Christian Zimmermann
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of collaboration on research output. First, we build a micro founded model for scientific knowledge production, where collaboration between researchers is represented by a bipartite network. The equilibrium of the game incorporates both the complementarity effect between collaborating researchers and the substitutability effect between concurrent projects of the same researcher. Next, we develop a Bayesian MCMC procedure to estimate the structural parameters, taking into account the endogenous matching of researchers and projects. Finally, we illustrate the empirical relevance of the model by analyzing the coauthorship network of economists registered in the RePEc Author Service.
    Keywords: bipartite networks; coauthorship networks; research collaboration; spillovers; economics of science
    JEL: C31 C72 D85 L14
    Date: 2020–08–17
  4. By: Daniel Gerson (OECD)
    Abstract: Public service leaders – senior civil servants who lead and improve major government functions – are at the heart of government effectiveness. They translate political direction into the policies and programmes that keep citizens healthy, safe, and economically productive. In order to do so, however, they need to have both the right skills and institutional support to deploy them effectively. This paper summarises insights from a recently completed project that addressed this challenge. First, the paper identifies four leadership capabilities that are necessary to respond to complex policy challenges: values-based leadership, open inclusion, organisational stewardship, and networked collaboration. Second, the paper outlines a model for assessing senior civil service systems, i.e. the policies, processes and tools needed to develop these capabilities and support leaders in using them. The paper concludes with recommendations to help governments take a systematic approach to the development and management of their public service leaders.
    JEL: D73 M12 H83 L38
    Date: 2020–09–23
  5. By: Henri-Louis Vedie
    Abstract: The Kingdom of Morocco, which has no oil and gas, has shifted to renewable energy as early as 1960, giving priority to hydroelectricity and the construction of dams. However, most of the country’s power plants were and remain powered by diesel or gas, which has a heavy impact on its balance payments. Since then, the demand for electricity has continued to grow due to the country’s development on the one hand and, as a result of the use of desalination facilities on the other hand, which consume a lot of electricity, to meet the constantly increasing drinking water needs. Since 2009, and at the initiative of King Mohammed VI, renewable energy has become a reign-long project, with the objective of covering 42% of the electricity produced by 2020. To achieve this goal, three branches will be used to contribute an equal share of 14% each: hydropower, wind energy and solar energy. This study shows that this objective should be achieved at the cost of considerable investment, with a focus on state-of-the-art technologies. Over and above this statistical success, Morocco will also be able to export the know-how learned, particularly in the solar and wind fields, a success which should give hope to emerging economies deprived of fossil energy, in search of development and sustainable development.
    Date: 2020–02
  6. By: Didier Sornette (ETH Zürich - Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC); Swiss Finance Institute; Southern University of Science and Technology; Tokyo Institute of Technology); Peter Cauwels (ETH Zürich; Director Quaerens CommV)
    Abstract: We live in a ‘zero-risk society’, characterized by a culture that is obsessed with controlling and removing any possible risks. Obviously, one of the fundamental objectives of any civilization is to improve the safety and security of its citizens. However, we should not let the cozy comfort that comes with this progress let us fall into a doze. Human societies are intrinsically out-of-equilibrium, constantly exposed to endogenous and exogenous shocks, extreme events that may be known unknowns but even unknown unknowns. This may sound like a paradox, but, bold risk-taking is an essential ingredient of any resilient society. It is the only way to prepare for the totality of growing challenges that we are facing today. Unfortunately, the past decades have been characterized by technological stagnation, principally in discoveries and inventions, and more recently also in innovations, and by social, cultural, intellectual and institutional exhaustion. The authors attribute this to four deeper causes: (i) risk aversion as a consequence of increasing wealth and aging; (ii) technology creating an ‘illusion of control’; (iii) herding and imitation through social media and (iv) management shaped by extremes and over-reaction. The only way out of this trap is to promote a culture in education where failure is seen as part of the learning process, and aggressively fund explorative, high-risk projects, encourage playful, creative, even apparently useless tinkering. Finally, incentives and rewards should promote risk-takers, explorers and creative inventors in the same way as it does with social media influencers and Hollywood or sports stars. Our analyses call for massive creations of DARPA-like institutions and bold super Apollo-like projects to break free of the zero-risk = dying societies.
    Keywords: risks, uncertainty, unknowns, dragon-kings, extremes, out-of-equilibrium, risk-taking, innovation, invention, discovery
    JEL: D81 G32 H50 I20 I30 O30
    Date: 2020–08
  7. By: Chin, Jason (University of Sydney); DeHaven, Alexander Carl (Center for Open Science); Heycke, Tobias (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences); Holcombe, Alex O.; Mellor, David Thomas (Center for Open Science); Pickett, Justin; Steltenpohl, Crystal Nicole (University of Southern Indiana); Vazire, Simine; Zeiler, Kathryn (Boston University)
    Abstract: Fields closely related to empirical legal research are enhancing their methods to improve the credibility of their findings. This includes making data, analysis code, and other materials openly available, and preregistering studies. Empirical legal research appears to be lagging behind other fields. This may be due, in part, to a lack of meta-research and guidance on empirical legal studies. The authors seek to fill that gap by evaluating some indicators of credibility in empirical legal research, including a review of guidelines at legal journals. They then provide both general recommendations for researchers, and more specific recommendations aimed at three commonly used empirical legal methods: case law analysis, surveys, and qualitative studies. They end with suggestions for policies and incentive systems that may be implemented by journals and law schools.
    Date: 2020–09–24

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