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Delays and Cost Overruns in Infrastructure Projects -- An Enquiry into Extents, Causes and Remedies

Author

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  • Ram Singh

    (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India)

Abstract

Media reports abound on instances of prolonged delays and excessive cost overruns in infrastructure projects. Only a small number of projects get delivered in time and within the budget. Examples of successful project implementation, like construction of the Delhi Metro Rail, are few and appear only far in between. Indeed, the problem of time and cost overruns in India is widespread and severe. Yet, very few empirical studies exist on the subject. Even rarer are the studies based on completed projects. As a result, the extents as well as the causes behind delays and cost overruns have remained under-researched. This study investigates the various issues related to delays and cost overruns in publically funded infrastructure projects. The following questions are posed and answered -- How common and how large are the time and the cost overruns? What are the essential causes behind these delays and cost overruns? Are the underlying causes statistically significant? Are Contractual and Institutional failures among the significant causes? What are the policy implications for planning, development and implementation of infrastructure projects? The study is based on, by far, the largest dataset of 894 projects from seventeen infrastructure sectors. Among other results, it shows that the contractual and the institutional failures are economically and statistically significant causes behind cost and time overruns.

Suggested Citation

  • Ram Singh, 2009. "Delays and Cost Overruns in Infrastructure Projects -- An Enquiry into Extents, Causes and Remedies," Working papers 181, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cde:cdewps:181
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    Cited by:

    1. Cesare Dosi & Michele Moretto, 2015. "Procurement with Unenforceable Contract Time and the Law of Liquidated Damages," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(1), pages 160-186.
    2. Santanu Chatterjee & Olaf Posch & Dennis Wesselbaum, 2017. "Delays in Public Goods," Working Papers 1702, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2017.
    3. Lundberg, Mattias & Jenpanitsub, Anchalee & Pyddoke, Roger, 2011. "Cost overruns in Swedish transport projects," Working papers in Transport Economics 2011:11, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Delays; Cost Overruns; Time Overruns; Infrastructure; Projects; Causes; Contractual Failures; Organizational Failures; Institutional Failures;

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