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Impact of crude oil market behaviour on unit bid prices: the evidence from the highway construction sector


  • Ivan Damnjanovic
  • Xue Zhou


It is well known that the cost of highway construction is affected by the cost of crude oil. While this relationship is highly visible for construction items such as asphalt cement (a by-product in the process of refining oil), the effects of the crude oil prices on the cost of other construction items, such as concrete cement or construction operations are less direct, but equally important. For unit-based contracts without price adjustment clauses, this relationship is of a particular significance. In fact, an increase in price of fuel could result in substantial losses, as contractors are not protected. Hence, to hedge against this risk, contractors are likely to incorporate a premium in bid prices to manage project risks. The objective of this paper is to investigate the evidence of this behaviour. New evidence shows that the expected change in oil prices (the difference between future and spot price) and the implied volatility in the oil market affect the price of bid items for contracts without price adjustment clauses. Such results allow for more effective implementation of risk management on project- and programme-level basis.

Suggested Citation

  • Ivan Damnjanovic & Xue Zhou, 2009. "Impact of crude oil market behaviour on unit bid prices: the evidence from the highway construction sector," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(9), pages 881-890.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:conmgt:v:27:y:2009:i:9:p:881-890
    DOI: 10.1080/01446190903171204

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