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Measuring the inadequacy of IRR in PFI schemes using profitability index and AIRR

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  • Cuthbert, James R.
  • Magni, Carlo Alberto

Abstract

The internal rate of return (IRR) is widely used in Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes in the UK for measuring performance. However, it is well-known that the IRR may be a misleading indicator of economic profitability. Treasury Guidance (2004) recognises that the the IRR should not be used and net present value (NPV) should be calculated instead, unless the cash flow pattern is even. The distortion generated by the IRR can be quantified by the notion of scheduling effect, introduced in Cuthbert and Cuthbert (2012). We combine this notion with the notion of average IRR (AIRR), introduced in Magni (2010, 2013) and show that a positive scheduling effect arises if the AIRR, relative to a flat payment stream, exceeds the project’s IRR. The scheduling component can be measured in two separate ways, in terms of specific AIRRs, one of which enables the scheduling component to be decomposed into relative capital and relative rate components. We also highlight the role of average capital, whose quotation in the market, in association with IRRs or AIRRs, would deepen the economic analysis of the project.

Suggested Citation

  • Cuthbert, James R. & Magni, Carlo Alberto, 2016. "Measuring the inadequacy of IRR in PFI schemes using profitability index and AIRR," MPRA Paper 72857, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:72857
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Yuri Biondi, 2006. "The double emergence of the Modified Internal Rate of Return: The neglected financial work of Duvillard (1755 - 1832) in a comparative perspective," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 311-335.
    2. Carlo Alberto Magni, 2010. "Average internal rate of return and investment decisions: A new perspective," PROYECCIONES FINANCIERAS Y VALORACION 006653, MASTER CONSULTORES.
    3. Gronchi, Sandro, 1986. "On Investment Criteria Based on the Internal Rate of Return," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(1), pages 174-180, March.
    4. Magni, Carlo Alberto, 2009. "Splitting up value: A critical review of residual income theories," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 198(1), pages 1-22, October.
    5. Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R., 2001. "The theory and practice of corporate finance: evidence from the field," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 187-243, May.
    6. Lindblom, Ted & Sjögren, Stefan, 2009. "Increasing goal congruence in project evaluation by introducing a strict market depreciation schedule," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 519-532, October.
    7. repec:taf:uteexx:v:58:y:2013:i:2:p:73-111 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Remer, Donald S. & Nieto, Armando P., 1995. "A compendium and comparison of 25 project evaluation techniques. Part 2: Ratio, payback, and accounting methods," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 101-129, December.
    9. Remer, Donald S. & Nieto, Armando P., 1995. "A compendium and comparison of 25 project evaluation techniques. Part 1: Net present value and rate of return methods," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 79-96, November.
    10. Pasqual, Joan & Padilla, Emilio & Jadotte, Evans, 2013. "Technical note: Equivalence of different profitability criteria with the net present value," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(1), pages 205-210.
    11. Slagmulder, Regine & Bruggeman, Werner & van Wassenhove, Luk, 1995. "An empirical study of capital budgeting practices for strategic investments in CIM technologies," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2-3), pages 121-152, August.
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    13. Kierulff, Herbert, 2008. "MIRR: A better measure," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 321-329.
    14. Magni, Carlo Alberto, 2015. "Aggregate Return On Investment for investments under uncertainty," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 29-37.
    15. Carlo Magni, 2013. "The Internal Rate of Return Approach and the AIRR Paradigm: A Refutation and a Corroboration," The Engineering Economist, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 58(2), pages 73-111.
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    17. Carlo Alberto Magni, 2010. "Average internal rate of return and investment decisions: A new perspective," PROYECCIONES FINANCIERAS Y VALORACION 006653, MASTER CONSULTORES.
    18. repec:eee:crpeac:v:23:y:2012:i:6:p:420-433 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Magni, Carlo Alberto, 2016. "Capital depreciation and the underdetermination of rate of return: A unifying perspective," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 54-79.
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:6:p:2066-:d:153075 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    PFI; AIRR; profitability index; scheduling effect; internal rate of return.;

    JEL classification:

    • G00 - Financial Economics - - General - - - General
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • M2 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics
    • M40 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - General

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