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The CURA publications library is currently being digitized by the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. When the project is complete, the entire CURA publications library will be online and fully searchable. Unfortunately, during this process we are not able to honor individual requests for publications . Additionally, we no longer have physical copies of publications to send out.

New publications are digitized daily and the publications catalog on the CURA website is not automatically updated with links to scanned copies, so please search the CURA collection at the Digital Conservancy for the publications you are looking for:

Speeding Road Construction: Efficient Contract Design Can Lead to Faster Repairs, Fewer Delays, and Lower Commuter Costs.

Bajari, Patrick, and Greg Lewis.

Road construction and repair exact a high price on Minnesota motorists who suffer painful delays as lanes are closed, stretches of highway are shut down, and detours are endured. The delays not only cause stress and frustration, they also rob commuters of time that could be spent on other things, such as work or leisure activities with family and friends. Economists refer to the cost of such delays as 'user costs.' Unfortunately, MnDOT does not account for user costs when it awards its projects, and contractors typically have little or no incentive to minimize commuter delays, as doing so typically involves additional expenses for them, such as overtime pay, working on weekends, or forgoing opportunities to bid on alternative projects. The authors report on their study of the economics of time incentives in road construction and efficient contract design, using MnDOT contracts as an empirical case study. The research was motivated by two questions. First, how can we design efficient bidding systems for highway projects that could account for both direct construction costs and indirect commuter costs? Second, what are the potential gains from switching to a more efficient system? The article summarizes some of the key findings from the study.

CURA Reporter
Publication date: 
Minneapolis: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota.
Supported in part by a grant from the Faculty Interactive Research Program (FIRP) at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), University of Minnesota. Additional funding provided by the Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship Program at the University of Minnesota, and the National Science Foundation.
39 (1-2): 32-38
Online availability
Download from CURA: 
CURA call number: 
Reporter 39 (1-2)