Recognition by the National Bureau of Economic Research for Infrastructure Procurement Innovation

As part of their ongoing investigation of innovation in infrastructure procurement, QUT Associate Professor Adrian Bridge is continuing to work with Dejan Makovšek, economist with the International Transport Forum at the OECD, to develop a procurement decision tool.

Associate Professor Bridge and Mr Makovšek were invited by the US National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) to present their work at a conference examining the Economics of Infrastructure Investment held at MIT (Mass., USA). The tool has been endorsed by the OECD, who have recommended it be adopted around the world, and Australia’s Productivity Commission.

The NBER has commissioned the researchers to prepare a report to be published in 2020 examining global procurement practices and in which the procurement tool features as the “way forward”.

The NBER is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organisation dedicated to conducting economic research and to disseminating research findings among academics, public policy makers, and business professionals. It is the leading non-profit economic research organisation in the USA. Thirty-two Nobel Prize winners in Economics and thirteen past chairs of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers have held NBER affiliations.

Associate Professor Bridge described the tool as ‘state-of-the-art’ and demonstrating QUT’s leading contribution to the economics of procurement and delivery of new built infrastructure.

“Infrastructure procurement is a very costly undertaking but presently neither public policy makers nor the industry have a complete view of the consequences of their procurement preferences,” he said.

“In response to that situation we have collaborated with government and industry in Queensland, to lead the development, empirical testing and now successful trialling of this tool to address those knowledge gaps.”

Associate Professor Bridge and Mr Makovšek’s work will be included in an upcoming landmark book, Economics of Infrastructure Investment, edited by Edward L. Glaeser and James M. Poterba and published by the NBER. The publication will launch Infrastructure Economics as a recognised sub-discipline in mainstream economics.