The financial estimates and results of servicing land in the Netherlands
Past research has revealed that governments are often tempted to underestimate the costs and overestimate the benefits of infrastructure projects. However, an analysis of local-government estimates and accounts reveals that servicing land by local authorities in the Netherlands is an exception to this general phenomenon. The profits made by local authorities from land development are growing, while the costs, revenues, and results are, on average, underestimated by local authorities. This may have consequences for the explanation of budget overruns and the solutions that may be effective in countering this problem. It is not always necessary for there to be one single moment in the planning process at which a fully informed choice can be made; an alternative is to leave room for flexible, piecemeal decision making.
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