nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2020‒10‒19
three papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Hidden inefficiency: Strategic inflation of project schedules By Lorko, Matej; Servátka, Maroš; Zhang, Le
  2. Chinese and Indian investment in Ethiopia: Infrastructure for ‘debt-trap diplomacy’ exchange and the land grabbing approach By Addis, Amsalu; Asongu, Simplice; Zuping, Zhu; Addis, Hailu
  3. Deliverable 10.1 of the Strength2Food H2020 project By Konstadinos Mattas; Efthimia Tsakiridou; Christos Karelakis; Charoula Chousou; Dimitra Lazaridou; Virginie Amilien; Filippo Arfini; Valentin Bellassen; Ruzica Brecic; Liesbeth Dries; Georges Giraud; Matthew Gorton; Monika Hartmann; Edward Majewski; Agatha Malak-Rawlikowska; Steve Quarrie; Burkhard Schaer; Angela Tregear; Mario Veneziani; Gunnar Vitterso

  1. By: Lorko, Matej; Servátka, Maroš; Zhang, Le
    Abstract: Establishing realistic project plans and completing the resulting business projects on schedule is crucial for organizations striving to effectively utilize their resources. However, incentivizing on-time project delivery may introduce moral hazard, as people may respond to estimation accuracy incentives by strategically inflating project duration estimates and subsequently prolonging the project execution. While the project is delivered on time, the resources are underutilized. We conjecture that these perverse effects can be mitigated by introducing incentives to complete the project as soon as possible (speed incentives) in addition to the schedule accuracy incentives. We conduct a diagnostic test of the effect of accuracy and speed incentives on the process of project estimation and delivery. Our study presents direct empirical evidence that the incentive structure rewarding solely the estimation accuracy can result in hidden inefficiency due to inflated estimates and deliberately prolonged project execution. However, when speed incentives are implemented alongside estimation accuracy incentives, the estimates are significantly lower and the project is completed more quickly, without compromising the schedule accuracy. Aligning the objectives of a project owner with those of planners, by incentivizing the planners for both estimation accuracy and quick project completion, can therefore foster more compressed but still accurate and reliable project schedules and accelerated project delivery. In summary, our study contributes to the economic analysis of incentive structures in project management by identifying a hidden inefficiency that could be present in projects delivered “on time” and by pointing out a mechanism that mitigates the risk of moral hazard.
    Keywords: project management, project planning, time management, duration estimation, strategic overrepresentation, moral hazard
    JEL: C91 D82 D83 O21 O22
    Date: 2020–09–20
  2. By: Addis, Amsalu; Asongu, Simplice; Zuping, Zhu; Addis, Hailu
    Abstract: Purpose: The aim of this study is to examine the motive of China’s and India’s engagement in African countries particularly in Ethiopia, and to address the land grabbing and debt-trap diplomacy between Ethiopia and the Asian drivers, which creates challenges across the diverse social, political, economic, and ecological contexts. Methodology/approach: This study utilises both primary and secondary data. The available literature is also reviewed. The primary data were gathered through semi-structured interviews and discussions from: (i) several authority offices in Ethiopia, sources close to authorities, information-rich informants, employees, and (ii) perspectives, perceptions, and prospects from individual members of society. Findings: The study unmasks the win-win cooperation strategy from the perspective of the members of society in Ethiopia, evaluates whether China and India have strings attached or land grabbing motives. The study also shows that whether China’s and India’s move was deliberate, the implications of debt-trap diplomacy and exploitation in Ethiopia are apparent. Additionally, this study investigated several considerable potential threats to Ethiopia that will persist unless significant measures are taken to control the relations with Asian drivers. Limitations: Some of the limitations of this paper pertain to the primary data collection process from the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) and other authorities, which was very challenging because people can be punished for talking to journalists or researchers. Furthermore, some investors were not willing to participate in discussions because they were engaged in areas that are not related to their licenses. Many interviewees were also not willing to disclose their names, and the data are not exhaustive in the number of investment projects covered. Originality/value: This study provides new evidence on the influence of Chinese and Indian investment, aid and trade on Ethiopia's social, political, and economic spheres. Additionally, this study contributes to the ongoing debate on land grabbing anddebt-trap diplomacy in Ethiopia.
    Keywords: Ethiopia, China, India, Land grabbing, Investment, Debt-trap diplomacy
    JEL: O1 O20 O40 O5 O55
    Date: 2020–01
  3. By: Konstadinos Mattas (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki); Efthimia Tsakiridou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki); Christos Karelakis (DUTH - Democritus University of Thrace); Charoula Chousou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki); Dimitra Lazaridou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki); Virginie Amilien (Akershus University College); Filippo Arfini (University of Parma); Valentin Bellassen (CESAER - Centre d'Economie et de Sociologie Rurales Appliquées à l'Agriculture et aux Espaces Ruraux - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - AgroSup Dijon - Institut National Supérieur des Sciences Agronomiques, de l'Alimentation et de l'Environnement); Ruzica Brecic (University of Zagreb); Liesbeth Dries (WUR - Wageningen University and Research Centre [Wageningen]); Georges Giraud (CESAER - Centre d'Economie et de Sociologie Rurales Appliquées à l'Agriculture et aux Espaces Ruraux - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - AgroSup Dijon - Institut National Supérieur des Sciences Agronomiques, de l'Alimentation et de l'Environnement); Matthew Gorton (Newcastle University [Newcastle]); Monika Hartmann (University of Bonn); Edward Majewski (SGGW - Warsaw University of Life Sciences); Agatha Malak-Rawlikowska (Warsaw Agricultural University); Steve Quarrie (University of Belgrade [Belgrade]); Burkhard Schaer (Ecozept - Partenaires INRAE); Angela Tregear (University of Edinburgh); Mario Veneziani (University of Parma); Gunnar Vitterso (Akershus University College)
    Keywords: Organic farming,Geographical indications,Short food supply chains,Public sector food procurement
    Date: 2019

This nep-ppm issue is ©2020 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.