nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2021‒04‒26
six papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Sustainable Agile Project Management in Complex Agriculture Projects: An Institutional Theory Perspective By Dong, Hao; Dacre, Nicholas; Bailey, Adrian
  2. Competition, Mergers, and R&D Diversity By Gilbert, RJ
  3. The role of local authorities in food governance: The case of the Tours-Métropole-Val-de-Loire territorial food project By José Serrano; Céline Tanguay; Jean-Louis Yengué
  4. Budgeting for Federal Investment By Congressional Budget Office
  5. From coal to low carbon: Coal region development opportunities under EU Recovery programmes By Kustova, Irina; Egenhofer, Christian; Núñez Ferrer, Jorge; Popov, Julian
  6. Opening up military innovation: causal effects of 'bottom-up' reforms to U.S. defense research By Sabrina T. Howell; Jason Rathje; John Van Reenen; Jun Wong

  1. By: Dong, Hao; Dacre, Nicholas; Bailey, Adrian
    Abstract: Complex agriculture projects directly affect the welfare of over half the world’s population, are a key Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), and account for the single most extensive human activity across 40% of the world’s surface. Furthermore, they are highly susceptible to environmental, social, and economic pressures such as climate change, cyclical pandemics, market disruptions, and diminishing arable land. These issues are also becoming increasingly vital in dint of the fact that population growth is placing increasing pressure on sustainable priorities. However, a recent scientometric review indicates a significant paucity in the extant literature on agriculture projects, with a pressing need for further research to examine sustainable project management practices from an institutional perspective. This research, therefore, aims to respond to this gap in the literature by drawing on Institutional Theory through a multi-case study of Agriculture Co-operative Institutions (ACIs). These are often viewed as valuable vehicles to deliver agricultural projects which can benefit communities, especially in emerging markets. Initial findings from two rounds of fieldwork as well as an extensive literature review suggest that ACIs as value-based organisations embedded within institutional contexts help stimulate elements of agility in project management processes, to deliver sustainable outcomes for their members and external stakeholders. Agile ACI project managers can also stimulate innovative outcomes across broader sustainable agriculture projects. It is the aim of this research also to undertake a larger cross-country comparison with international research cases. Therefore, this study will aim to not only contribute to critical project management discourse and knowledge but also to uncover agile project management practices for future pressing policy development and implementation to help foster greater sustainable agriculture project processes.
    Date: 2021–03–08
  2. By: Gilbert, RJ
    Abstract: This paper describes a model of research and development (R&D) investment in which firms can choose any number of R&D projects that have independent and identical probabilities of success. The measure of R&D diversity is the number of projects that are undertaken by the industry. Absent spillovers or profits at risk from innovation, mergers often—but not always—decrease R&D diversity; however, the incremental effects decline rapidly with the number of industry rivals. Mergers can have significant adverse effects if the merging firms have large profits that are at risk from an innovation. A merger can promote investment in R&D and increase expected consumer surplus if discoveries have sufficiently large information spillovers.
    Keywords: Competition, Innovation, Oligopoly, Mergers, Research and development, Economics, Applied Economics
    Date: 2019–05–15
  3. By: José Serrano (CITERES - Cités, Territoires, Environnement et Sociétés - Université de Tours - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Céline Tanguay (CITERES - Cités, Territoires, Environnement et Sociétés - Université de Tours - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Jean-Louis Yengué (RURALITES - RURALITES - Université de Poitiers, FED 4229 - Fédération Territoires - Université de Poitiers - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: The 2014 law on the future of agriculture, food, and forestry aims to promote the relocation of food production to the local level by emphasizing the key role of local actors. It proposes territorial food projects as a public tool facilitating the coordination of their action within a project-based approach. Therefore, the law gives local authorities a key role in the governance of stakeholders. In this article, the authors look at a food relocalization experiment by studying the Tours-Métropole-Val-de-Loire territorial food project. They demonstrate that Tours-Métropole adopted a "technicist" approach that preserved the predominance of traditional supply chain actors in the local food system.
    Abstract: La loi d'avenir pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et la forêt de 2014 vise à favoriser une relocalisation de la production alimentaire à l'échelle locale en mettant l'accent sur le rôle des acteurs locaux. Elle propose comme dispositif les projets alimentaires territoriaux pour coordonner leur action selon une démarche de projet. La loi donne aux collectivités locales un rôle essentiel dans la gouvernance des acteurs. Dans cet article, les auteurs questionnent une démarche de relocalisation alimentaire en étudiant le projet alimentaire territorial de Tours-Métropole-Val-de-Loire. À défaut d'une démarche transversale, ils montreront que Tours-Métropole adopte une démarche techniciste qui conduit au maintien de la prédominance des acteurs des filières longues dans le système alimentaire local.
    Keywords: Tours-Val-de-Loire metropolis,relocalization of agricultural production,local supply of food products,territorial food project,circuit alimentaire de proximité,relocalisation production agricole,métropole Tours-Val-de-Loire,projet alimentaire territorial
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Congressional Budget Office
    Abstract: Federal investments can provide long-term benefits and can spur economic growth. The federal budget records expenses for investment projects up front, not over the project’s lifetime of use. Because of that mismatch between when costs are recorded and when benefits occur, investment projects may seem expensive relative to other government expenditures, and the large amounts of up-front funding required for some types of investments can make it difficult to fund them within the constraints of the budget process.
    JEL: H00 H54 H61 H72
    Date: 2021–04–15
  5. By: Kustova, Irina; Egenhofer, Christian; Núñez Ferrer, Jorge; Popov, Julian
    Abstract: The Covid-19 crisis has laid bare the vulnerability of coal regions. Economic recovery and associated funding, as well as the need for new low-carbon solutions, offers a unique opportunity to address the transition of coal regions. The combination of worsening economics of coal and the increasingly universal move towards carbon neutrality makes redeveloping coal regions a priority. The EU is home to a large number of successful coal region transitions, many of which are ongoing. In one way or another, long-term environmental, sustainable and low-carbon technologies and business solutions are becoming a central element of the transition. Special Economic Zones (SEZ) are geographically limited areas where companies’ operations are governed by specific rules on taxation, public funding for infrastructure, simplified planning procedures, the provision of specialised business services and attractive living and working conditions. They can play a decisive role in accelerating the economic development of regions affected by economic decline or stagnation. Effective planning and programming, good governance and the engagement of local stakeholders and the local economy are preconditions for attracting long-term sustainable private investment. Getting governance right has proved to be one of the key determinants of successful transition. Public funding will also be required, but only as one of the enabling tools, for example to build infrastructure, clean up sites for training and retraining and, more generally, to ease the transition.The EU Recovery and Resilience Facility together with EU budgetary sources, based on the Territorial Just Transition Plans for example, will be able to provide sufficient public money to catalyse private investment where regional plans are sufficiently developed.
    Date: 2021–04
  6. By: Sabrina T. Howell; Jason Rathje; John Van Reenen; Jun Wong
    Abstract: When investing in research and development (R&D), institutions must decide whether to take a top-down approach - soliciting a particular technology - or a bottom-up approach in which innovators suggest ideas. This paper examines a reform to the U.S. Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program that transitioned from "Conventional topics," which solicit specific technologies, to "Open topics," which invite firms to suggest any new technology that may be useful to the Air Force. The reform seeks to address challenges facing military R&D, in particular a less innovative defense industrial base. We show that the Open program attracts new entrants, defined as younger firms and those without previous defense SBIR awards. In a regression discontinuity design that offers the first causal evaluation of a defense R&D program, we show that winning an Open award increases future venture capital investment, non-SBIR defense contracting, and patenting. Conventional awards have no effect on these outcomes but do increase the chances of future defense SBIR contracts, fostering incumbency. The bottom-up approach appears to be a mechanism behind Open's success. For example, winning has a positive effect on innovation even in less specific Conventional topics. The results suggest that government (and perhaps private sector) innovation could benefit from more bottom-up, decentralized approaches that reduce barriers to entry, minimize lock-in advantages for incumbents, and attract a wider range of new entrants.
    Keywords: innovation, defense, R&D, procurement
    JEL: O31 O32 O38 H56 H57
    Date: 2021–04

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