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Evaluating Transport Infrastructure Investments: The Dutch Experience with a Standardized Approach

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  • Jan Anne Annema
  • Carl Koopmans
  • Bert Van Wee

Abstract

The Dutch government introduced a requirement in 2000 to evaluate proposed major infrastructure plans using a cost--benefit analysis (CBA) following published guidelines. Since then 13 new major infrastructure projects have been evaluated. The paper reviews the Dutch standardized CBA practice since 2000. The overall conclusion is that the use of standardized CBA has improved the quality of ex‐ante evaluations of large infrastructure projects in the Netherlands. However, the relatively young CBA practice has not yet fulfilled its full potential. About half of the CBAs analysed can be considered as being suitable for helping decision‐making. The other half has weaknesses with respect to methods and assumptions. Looking at the standardized CBA’s influence on policy‐making, the most important conclusion is that unfavourable CBA results have contributed to the postponement of decisions and to the downsizing of projects.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Anne Annema & Carl Koopmans & Bert Van Wee, 2006. "Evaluating Transport Infrastructure Investments: The Dutch Experience with a Standardized Approach," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(2), pages 125-150, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:transr:v:27:y:2006:i:2:p:125-150
    DOI: 10.1080/01441640600843237
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/01441640600843237
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Krupnick, Alan & Toman, Michael & Kopp, Raymond, 1997. "Cost-Benefit Analysis and Regulatory Reform: An Assessment of the Science and Art," Discussion Papers dp-97-19, Resources For the Future.
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    1. repec:spr:lsprsc:v:10:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s12076-016-0175-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Wijnen, Wim & Wesemann, Paul & de Blaeij, Arianne, 2009. "Valuation of road safety effects in cost-benefit analysis," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 326-331, November.
    3. Bert van Wee & Jan Anne Annema & Hugo Priemus, 2013. "Model building for infrastructure initiatives," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Urban Economies, chapter 17, pages 423-441 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Bert van Wee, 2011. "Transport and Ethics," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14281, June.
    5. Stef Proost & Fay Dunkerley & Saskia Loo & Nicole Adler & Johannes Bröcker & Artem Korzhenevych, 2014. "Do the selected Trans European transport investments pass the cost benefit test?," Transportation, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 107-132, January.
    6. Mouter, Niek & Annema, Jan Anne & Wee, Bert van, 2013. "Attitudes towards the role of Cost–Benefit Analysis in the decision-making process for spatial-infrastructure projects: A Dutch case study," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1-14.
    7. Nikolaos Thomopoulos & Susan Grant-Muller, 2013. "Incorporating equity as part of the wider impacts in transport infrastructure assessment: an application of the SUMINI approach," Transportation, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 315-345, February.
    8. Jonas Eliasson & Maria Börjesson & James Odeck & Morten Welde, 2015. "Does Benefit-Cost Efficiency Influence Transport Investment Decisions?," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 49(3), pages 377-396, July.
    9. Bakker, P. & Koopmans, C. & Nijkamp, P., 2009. "Appraisal of integrated transport policies," Serie Research Memoranda 0052, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    10. Jan Anne Annema, 2013. "The use of CBA in decision-making on mega-projects: empirical evidence," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Mega-Projects, chapter 13, pages 291-312 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Beukers, Els & Bertolini, Luca & Te Brömmelstroet, Marco, 2014. "Using cost benefit analysis as a learning process: identifying interventions for improving communication and trust," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 61-72.
    12. Salvador Bertomeu & Antonio Estache, 2016. "Unbundling Political and Economic Rationality: a Non-Parametric Approach Tested on Spain," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2016-17, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    13. Bert van Wee, 2013. "Ethics and the ex ante evaluation of mega-projects," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Mega-Projects, chapter 16, pages 356-378 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Mouter, Niek & Annema, Jan Anne & van Wee, Bert, 2013. "Ranking the substantive problems in the Dutch Cost–Benefit Analysis practice," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 241-255.
    15. Polydoropoulou, Amalia & Roumboutsos, Athena, 2009. "Evaluating the impact of decision making during construction on transport project outcome," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 369-380, November.
    16. Thomopoulos, Nikolaos & Grant-Muller, Susan, 2013. "Incorporating equity as part of the wider impacts in transport infrastructure assessment: an application of the SUMINI approach," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60073, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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