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Megaprojects and Risk: An Anatomy of Ambition


  • Bent Flyvbjerg
  • Nils Bruzelius
  • Werner Rothengatter


Back cover text: Megaprojects and Risk provides the first detailed examination of the phenomenon of megaprojects. It is a fascinating account of how the promoters of multibillion-dollar megaprojects systematically and self-servingly misinform parliaments, the public and the media in order to get projects approved and built. It shows, in unusual depth, how the formula for approval is an unhealthy cocktail of underestimated costs, overestimated revenues, undervalued environmental impacts and overvalued economic development effects. This results in projects that are extremely risky, but where the risk is concealed from MPs, taxpayers and investors. The authors not only explore the problems but also suggest practical solutions drawing on theory and hard, scientific evidence from the several hundred projects in twenty nations that illustrate the book. Accessibly written, it will be essential reading in its field for students, scholars, planners, economists, auditors, politicians, journalists and interested citizens.

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  • Bent Flyvbjerg & Nils Bruzelius & Werner Rothengatter, 2013. "Megaprojects and Risk: An Anatomy of Ambition," Papers 1303.7404,
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1303.7404

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hugosson, Muriel Beser, 2005. "Quantifying uncertainties in a national forecasting model," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 531-547, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Bain, 2010. "Public sector comparators for UK PFI roads: inside the black box," Transportation, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 447-471, May.
    2. Pilon, André Francisco, 2008. "Building new frontiers: An ecosystemic approach to development, culture, education, environment and quality of life," MPRA Paper 10816, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Stanley Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2004. "Digging the Dirt at Public Expense: Governance in the Building of the Erie Canal and Other Public Works," NBER Working Papers 10965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Ginés De Rus, 2007. "Economic Evaluation and Incentives in Transport Infrastructure Investment," Chapters,in: Cost–Benefit Analysis and Incentives in Evaluation, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. A. Premchand, 2003. "Ethical Dimensions of Public Expenditure Management," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0314, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    6. Mälkönen, Ville, 2008. "Optimal Public Procurement Contracts Under a Soft Budget Constraint," Discussion Papers 464, VATT Institute for Economic Research.

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