Procurement and Infrastructure Costs
56 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2023
Date Written: July 27, 2023
Infrastructure costs in the United States are high and rising. The procurement process is one potential cost driver. In this paper we conduct a survey of procurement practices across the 50 states. We survey both employees at each state department of transportation (DOT) and the road builders that win contracts to build and maintain roads. With this survey we are able to create a new dataset of procurement rules and practices across the U.S. and understand what actors on the ground think drive costs. We then assemble a new dataset of project-level infrastructure costs. We correlate the survey practices with our new, detailed data on costs. We find that two important inputs in the procurement process appear to particularly drive costs: (1) the capacity of the DOT procuring the project and (2) the lack of competition in the market for government construction contracts.
Keywords: infrastructure costs; procurement; bidding
JEL Classification: R42, L38, D44, H54, H57, L91, O18, K40, H83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation