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The determinants of cost deviations and overruns in transport projects, an endogenous models approach


  • Catalão, Francisco Pinheiro
  • Cruz, Carlos Oliveira
  • Sarmento, Joaquim Miranda


Cost deviations and overruns are a recurrent topic in the transport infrastructure literature. Even though there is a general trend towards a more frequent occurrence of overruns the main determinants of such phenomena are still not consensual. This paper analyses a dataset of 1091 transport projects developed by the Portuguese government (central, regional, and local) between 1980 and 2012. The methodology builds on existing approaches but provides a more ambitious (and innovate) approach towards the incorporation of exogenous determinants, examples being political, legal and regulatory, and economic ones. The analysis suggests that these exogenous variables that have been under-valuated in the existing literature, and that they do, indeed, play a relevant role in understanding cost deviations.

Suggested Citation

  • Catalão, Francisco Pinheiro & Cruz, Carlos Oliveira & Sarmento, Joaquim Miranda, 2019. "The determinants of cost deviations and overruns in transport projects, an endogenous models approach," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 224-238.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:74:y:2019:i:c:p:224-238
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2018.12.008

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Love, Peter E.D. & Ika, Lavagnon A., 2021. "The ‘context’ of transport project cost performance: Insights from contract award to final construction costs," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C).

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