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  • 1.
    Andersson, Mats
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Odolinski, Kristofer
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Borlänge.
    Wieweg, Lena
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Borlänge.
    Wikberg, Åsa
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Borlänge.
    Strategi för utveckling av en samhällsekonomisk analysmodell för drift, underhåll och reinvestering av väg- och järnvägsinfrastruktur2011Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The ability to make structured decisions about the optimal funding for operation, maintenance and renewal of roads and railways is currently limited. This creates significant risks that the funds are used in an inefficient manner. It is therefore important that the Swedish Transport Administration develops a transparent model for decision support in this field. VTI has undertaken a review of the state of knowledge in various areas required to bring about an economic analysis of operation, maintenance and renewal. The review shows that there are good prospects to produce a decision basis within a relatively short time. This makes it possible to answer at least some of the issues formulated. The review indicates that there are great opportunities to move forward both in road and railway areas. Five specific projects have been suggested, of which three are short term and two are long term. The aim in the long run is to make transparent and structured decisions on funding needed from an economic perspective on various road and railway sections.

  • 2.
    Eriksson, Per Erik
    et al.
    Luleå Tekniska Universitet.
    Lingegard, Sofia
    KTH.
    Borg, Lena
    KTH.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Procurement of Railway Infrastructure Projects: A European Benchmarking Study2017In: Civil Engineering Journal, ISSN 2476-3055, Vol. 3, no 4, p. 199-213Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This benchmarking study compares how railway investments are procured in five European countries: Sweden, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. In total, 19 procurement managers and project managers were interviewed. This study compares the national rail clients' procurement strategies regarding: delivery system, reward system, contractor selection, and collaboration model. Historically, these clients have used in-house production. The first step towards a gradually increased usage of the market was to outsource the construction activities while keeping the design and development competence in-house. All five countries have mainly used Design-Bid-Build contracts in their initial outsourcing. However, the last few years there is a discernible trend in Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and the UK towards allocating more design and development responsibilities to contractors (i.e. Design-Build contracts) and increasing the strategic focus on cooperation. The UK and the Netherlands are forerunners in this trend that can be viewed as a third step in the transition towards a market oriented railway sector. Norway and Sweden is in the middle of this transition, whereas Germany has not initiated this change. The transition towards a gradually increased usage of the market has two main dimensions; degree of cooperation and degree of contractor freedom, which differs among the countries. The UK and Sweden focus on increasing both these dimensions, while The Netherlands and Norway mostly focus on increasing the degree of contractor freedom. Germany still limits both dimensions by performing design and development in-house and letting contractors compete for construction work in Design-Bid-Build contracts. Due to historical and cultural reasons, Deutsche Bahn in Germany is very hesitant to engage in collaboration with external suppliers; focusing on competition is considered more appropriate and less controversial.

  • 3.
    Fölster, Stefan
    et al.
    KTH.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute.
    Climate Policy to Defeat the Green Paradox2010In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 39, no 3, p. 223-235Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Carbon dioxide emissions have accelerated since the signing of the Kyoto Protocol. This discouraging development may partly be blamed on accelerating world growth and on lags in policy instruments. However, it also raises serious question concerning whether policies to reduce CO(2) emissions are as effective as generally assumed. In recent years, a considerable number of studies have identified various feedback mechanisms of climate policies that often erode, and occasionally reinforce, their effectiveness. These studies generally focus on a few feedback mechanisms at a time, without capturing the entire effect. Partial accounting of policy feedbacks is common in many climate scenarios. The IPCC, for example, only accounts for direct leakage and rebound effects. This article attempts to map the aggregate effects of different types of climate policy feedback mechanisms in a cohesive framework. Controlling feedback effects is essential if the policy measures are to make any difference on a global level. A general conclusion is that aggregate policy feedback mechanisms tend to make current climate policies much less effective than is generally assumed. In fact, various policy measures involve a definite risk of 'backfiring' and actually increasing CO(2) emissions. This risk is particularly pronounced once effects of climate policies on the pace of innovation in climate technology are considered. To stand any chance of controlling carbon emissions, it is imperative that feedback mechanisms are integrated into emission scenarios, targets for emission reduction and implementation of climate policy. In many cases, this will reduce the scope for subsidies to renewable energy sources, but increase the scope for other measures such as schemes to return carbon dioxide to the ground and to mitigate emissions of greenhouse gases from wetlands and oceans. A framework that incorporates policy feedback effects necessitates rethinking the design of the national and regional emission targets. This leads us to a new way of formulating emission targets that include feedback effects, the global impact target. Once the full climate policy feedback mechanisms are accounted for, there are probably only three main routes in climate policy that stand a chance of mitigating global warming: (a) returning carbon to the ground, (b) technological leaps in zero-emission energy technology that make it profitable to leave much carbon in the ground even in Annex II countries and (c) international agreements that make it more profitable to leave carbon in the ground or in forests.

  • 4.
    Gustafsson, Cecilia
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Den svenska marknaden för godstransporter på järnväg: En analys av dominerande ställning2019Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Swedish rail freight market was deregulated in 1996. This granted private and public firms access to the tracks and enabled competition with the former state-owned monopoly Statens Järnvägar (SJ). SJ separated the freight business in 2001, to the separate but still state-owned company Green Cargo. Competition on the rail freight market has been strengthened gradually and Green Cargo has gone from a monopoly position to an average market share of 55 percent. The company's market shares vary in the different sub-markets. Green Cargo is dominant in some sub-markets, but not all. Dominant companies in a market can be problematic and are regulated in the Swedish Competition Act “konkurrenslagen” (SFS 2008: 579). Importantly, it is not illegal to be dominant, but it is the abuse of a dominant position that is regulated. Assessment of possible abuse of a dominant position, consists of three chronological steps. Initially (1) the relevant market is defined, in order to then (2) calculate the company’s market share and whether it sustains a dominant position and (3) assess whether the dominant operator has abused its dominant position. This report aims to implement the first two steps concerning the freight transport market. The overall question is whether rail freight should be regarded as a common market. The analysis is carried out in two parts. The first is a traditional competition analysis driven by competition law (SFS 2008: 579), while the other is limited to rail transport alone, which is justified on the basis of the EU directive SERA (Single European Railway Area) and the Railway Act “järnvägslagen” (SFS 2004: 519). The traditional competition analysis begins with defining relevant markets according to the Competition Act, and the existence of dominant players in these markets is examined. The second analysis is based on the Railway Act and includes only rail freight transport. The dominance issue is assessed in this second part, by calculating market shares for the given market: block trains, single wagon load trains, combined trains and ore trains on the Malmbanan in Northern Sweden. In the second part of the study, which is based on the Swedish Railway Act, the markets are given as block trains, single wagon load trains, combined trains and ore trains on the Malmbanan. Given these markets, the market shares for Green Cargo are calculated using available data on tonkm and assumptions. Green Cargo is found to be dominant on single wagon load trains where they are alone, but also on block trains where they are estimated to have a market share above 50 percent. There are several companies with a significant market share in combined trains, and none of them is dominant. At the Malmbanan, Luossavaara–Kiirunavaara AB (LKAB) manages its own transport and is dominant. The study shows that the Swedish rail freight market should not be seen as a uniform market. In the traditional competition analysis, three relevant markets are defined. Green Cargo is found to be dominant in the market for heavy freight transport in large volumes to or from industries in the Swedish inland where competition from other modes of transport is missing. In the market for medium-heavy goods transport within Sweden, Green Cargo is not dominant, as there is competition from other types of traffic. Defining the markets to include only rail transport, Green Cargo is dominated by two of four markets; system trains and cargo transports. However, a dominant position does not per se mean there is imperfect competition.

  • 5.
    Hans, Lind
    et al.
    KTH, Bygg- och fastighetsekonomi.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    The Explanation of Incomplete Contracts in Mainstream Contract Theory: A Critique of the Distinction between "Observable" and "Verifiable"2011In: Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review, ISSN 1349-4961, Vol. 7, no 2, p. 279-293Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Mainstream contract theory often makes a distinction between things that are observable by the contracting parties but not verifiable by a third party. This distinction has, e.g. been used to explain why contracts are incomplete in some dimensions and claimed to provide the foundations of incomplete contract theory.

    This article sets out to scrutinize the assumption and argues that if something is observable by the parties, the parties can ex ante, without prohibitive costs, make these features verifiable by a third party. This implies that the distinction between observable and verifiable cannot be a fundamental explanation for incomplete contracts. Ex post it can be difficult to verify statements by a third party, but then it must be explained why the parties had not ex ante taken measures to make it possible to verify ex post. A number of such explanations are discussed in the paper. The arguments put forward are based on two detailed examples and also supported by important theories from the philosophy of language, which underline that concepts must be related to something observable in order to be learnt.

  • 6.
    Mandell, Svante
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Too much balance in unbalanced bidding2013In: Studies in Microeconomics, ISSN 2321-0222, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 23-35Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article adds to the theoretical base of unbalanced bidding in auction theory. The importance of this concept is justified by being a decisive feature in the make-or-buy decision of a client who cannot rely on repeated interaction, often the case in public procurement, for example. Earlier theoretical models on unbalanced bidding often predict corner solutions, that is, zero bids for unit prices of expected overestimated quantities. However, anecdotal evidence indicates a lack of zero bids in the actual contracts. The article offers a possible explanation for this anomaly by focusing on the risk-aversion of the contractor. Using a simple model, it shows that a contractor with superior information may exploit this in the bidding process to increase her expected revenue. This increases risk exposure. A risk-averse contractor will typically avoid a corner solution to reach an optimal balance between risk and expected return.

  • 7.
    Mandell, Svante
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Why are bids not more unbalanced?2011Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Earlier theoretical models of unbalanced bidding in unit price contracts (UPC) ofter predict corner solutions, i.e. zero bids for unit prices of expected overextimated quantities. However, anecdotal evidence indicates a lack of zero bids in the actual contracts. We pursue a possible explanation for this anomaly in risk-aversion of the contractor. Using a simple model we show that a contractor with superior information may exploit this in the bidding process to increase her expectd revenue. However, in so doing she increases her risk exposure. If the contractor is risk-averse, she typically will avoid a corner solution to this risk vs. expected return trade-off.

  • 8.
    Nilsson, Jan-Eric
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Bergman, Mats
    Södertörns Högskola.
    Mandell, Svante
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Pyddoke, Roger
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    På spaning efter den innovativa myndigheten2012Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This report makes suggestions for how the government can improve on the monitoring of its agencies and the productivity of its activities. The instrument for doing so is to ascertain a regular review of costs in the contract signed between commercial firms which provide services for the public sector, and the final cost for service delivery. By increasing the focus to understand what drives costs and productivity at the micro level, it will become gradually more straightforward for the agencies to start looking for new and cost reducing means for implementation of road construction projects, of subsidised public transport, of child care etc. This is in line with the government’s ambitions to push for more innovations in the public sector.

  • 9.
    Nilsson, Jan-Eric
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Bergman, Mats
    Södertörns högskola.
    Mandell, Svante
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Pyddoke, Roger
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Vart tar pengarna vägen?: om behovet av bättre uppföljning för ökad effektivitet i offentlig sektor2012Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    It is possible to enhance the cost effectiveness of infrastructure investments in the public sector. In this VTI report it is also stated that the costs for implementing a system which would facilitate the identification of successes and failures are very small. The paper is based on experiences from a research project sponsored by the Swedish Competition Authority. The focus is on cost comparisons throughout investment projects’ life cycle. The cycle starts with the government’s long-term investment program; then follows the (annual) decision by the parliament to allocate appropriations for projects, based on this program; in the next step, and after having tendered construction, a contract is signed with an entrepreneur; and finally the cost realization as registered in the accounting system provides the bottom line cost. It is demonstrated that it is not feasible to track costs through this life cycle, i.e. to compare costs in the early phases with the final costs. Alternative hypotheses which would explain the logic behind the impossibility of follow-ups are suggested. Irrespective of motive, the situation means that the government’s possibility to control the agencies with responsibility for implementing major projects is jeopardized.

  • 10.
    Nilsson, Jan-Eric
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Bergman, Mats
    Södertörns Högskola.
    Mandell, Svante
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm. KTH.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Pyddoke, Roger
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Vart tar pengarna vägen?: Om behovet av bättre uppföljning för ökad effektivitet i offentlig sektor2012In: Ekonomisk Debatt, ISSN 0345-2646, no 1, p. 44-56Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Det är inte möjligt att följa kostnaderna för infrastrukturinvesteringar från regeringens investeringsplan och riksdagens budgetbeslut till kostnaden vid upphandlingstillfället och till slutlig resursförbrukning. I uppsatsen diskuteras tänkbara förklaringar. Oavsett anledning är bristen på uppföljning problematisk eftersom både den interna styrningen och regeringskansliets styrning av myndigheten försvåras. Det mesta talar för att det till mycket begränsade kostnader går att utforma system som gör det möjligt att dra lärdomar av både goda och mindre goda erfarenheter och därmed förbättra kostnadseffektiviteten i offentlig sektor.

  • 11.
    Nilsson, Jan-Eric
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Johansson, Oskar
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Ridderstedt, Ivan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Wikström, Daniel
    Trafikverket.
    Kostnadsanalyser av upphandlade kontrakt: två studier av investerings- och reinvesteringsprojekt2018Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Swedish Transport Agency’s mission includes continuously improving the productivity of operations. The main purpose of the report is to lay the groundwork for following up and further developing the activities carried out. For this purpose, the results of two studies are reported. The one compares costs in contract with invoiced final cost while the other analyses the cost of contracted maintenance costs.

    Finally, several minimum requirements are identified that must be placed on the information required to carry out systematic follow-up.

  • 12.
    Nilsson, Jan-Eric
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Erfarenheter av privat finansiering av offentlig infrastruktur2017Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A government committee has asked VTI to give an account of domestic and international experiences of private funding of public infrastructure investment under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) format. This report is based on a literature review focusing the development of the most recent 10-year period. The report confirms and strengthens previous conclusions on the subject: PPP projects are typically opened for traffic on time and at lower cost overruns than projects implemented under traditional types of contracts. There are, however, no comprehensive empirical ex post reviews identifying pros and cons of the PPP approach to infrastructure construction and maintenance.

  • 13.
    Nilsson, Jan-Eric
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics, TEK.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics, TEK.
    Mapping railways maintenance contracts: the case of Netherlands, Finland and UK2014Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In 1988, Sweden was the first country in Europe to separate the ownership of railway infrastructure from traffic operations. Starting in 2002, maintenance has gradually been contracted out. Sweden, Finland and Holland – and previously England – have been in the European forefront regarding the use of competitive tendering of railway maintenance. The description of the situation in the countries indicate important similarities. All clients are trying to attract more contractors to place bids. At the same time, and very outspoken in Finland, the profitability on the market for rail maintenance is not high, making it different to attract new companies to enter the market. Another common aspect concerns the allocation of risk between the parties, indicating different emphasis on fixed price and unit price contracts. A related dimension is the tradeoff between tendering input or output.

  • 14.
    Nilsson, Jan-Eric
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Pyddoke, Roger
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Före och efter: uppföljning av en järnvägsinvestering i Oslo2012Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    VTI has been commissioned to make an ex post evaluation of a new double track between Asker and Sandvika to the southwest of Oslo. This is one out of three parcels in a package of railway investments in this area. The decision to implement the project was taken by the Norwegian parliament, Stortinget, in 2001 and the 9,5 km long section, most of which comprises tunnels, was opened for traffic in 2005. The objective of the investment package was to increase capacity and to reduce travel time with the purpose of attracting new passengers, thereby increasing the market share of public transport. A complementary objective was to improve the local environment by attracting road users to change transport mode. By definition, the project has met the capacity enhancement target. It is also obvious that this has been achieved by a cost overrun of about five percent. This seems to be close to target when comparing with experiences of other projects. The line was also opened for traffic on time. The major challenge for the ex post assessment has been to aquire information about patronage, both before the project initiation and after the operations have started. The report concludes that the type of information necessary to perform ex ante assessments of the welfare properties of a project is of the same nature as required for any follow up. This should be used as a point of departure for formulating a strategy for future information collection. It is thus reason to consider the sequence of initial information gathering, the subsequent production of an estimate of the social welfare of a project, the political decision to build, the construction phase and a subsequent follow up as parts of a continuous process of decision making and learning in order to increase the probability for that future decisions are based on the best possible material.

  • 15.
    Nilsson, Jan-Eric
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Salomonsson, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Kostnadsöverskridande i Trafikverkets entreprenadkontrakt2019Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Government has instructed the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) to promote productivity in the construction industry. VTI assists Trafikverket in this work. In this report, the differences that exist between the price set in the contract between Trafikverket and the construction company that has been commissioned to implement an activity and the final cost of the assignment are reported. 776 contracts relating to contracts in both the road and rail sectors and that comprises both investments and maintenance measures and which cost more than SEK 10 million are included in the material.

    Statistical tests show, among other things, that the risk of cost overruns is very large, and slightly higher for railway contract (94 per cent probability) than for road contracts (86 per cent). The cost overrun for road contracts (1,20) is significantly lower than for rail contracts (1,32).

  • 16.
    Nilsson, Jan-Eric
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Odolinski, Kristofer
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Borlänge.
    Swärdh, Jan-Erik
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Liss, Viktoria
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Borlänge.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Regelförändringar i transportsektorn – effekter av omregleringar inom inrikesflyg, taxi, kommersiell tågtrafik och bilprovning2013Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Konkurrensverket (the Swedish Competition Authority) has commissioned the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) to provide an overview of the consequences of four regulatory reforms in the transport sector during the past 20 years. In brief, the following core observations are made. The market for domestic flights was opened for entry in 1991. After a few years with prices going both up and down, the last 10 years or so have seen prices increase much faster than the consumer price index. After a peak in 1990, patronage first stalled and has subsequently decreased. Much of this can be explained by a number of external changes, i.e. it does not seem to be directly related to the way in which the market is organised. The taxi market was deregulated in 1990. Prices for private users have subsequently increased at twice the speed of consumer prices; negotiated prices for tendered services providing disabled persons etc. with taxi services has not increased at the same pace. After the reform, the number of vehicles has increased by 22 per cent. As a result, waiting times have been reduced. The market for domestic railway services was opened for entry in late 2011. The degree of entry has since been small, and it is too early to see any consequences for ridership and prices of the reform. The annual, compulsory vehicle control was previously provided by a national monopolist. This market was opened for entry in 2010. While accessibility for consumers has improved slightly since some additional inspection sites have been established, it is too early to see any major consequences in terms of entry. The government is, however, partitioning the incumbent and gradually selling it on commercial terms.

  • 17.
    Nyström, Johan
    KTH.
    A quasi-experimental evaluation of partnering2008In: Construction Management and Economics, ISSN 0144-6193, E-ISSN 1466-433X, Vol. 26, no 5, p. 531-541Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Construction managerial literature often argues that there are gains to be made by using partnering. Voices have however been raised to approach partnering in a more neutral perspective and with well-founded methods of evaluation. This study can be seen as an outcome of the criticisms against earlier empirical evaluations by setting out to provide more tangible data and an improved method for evaluating partnering. A quasi-experimental method has been adopted in order to control for other affecting variables and find the unique effect of partnering. This approach strives to match partnering projects with identical non-partnering projects on every relevant variable except partnering. Six hundred and twenty three site meeting minutes from 20 publicly procured projects have been analysed to extract differences between partnering and non-partnering projects concerning cost and quality. Time delays, the amount of disputes, financial outcome and contract flexibility have been used as indicators. The paper has made a first attempt in trying to push the frontier for partnering evaluations forward by providing a new type of data (site meeting minutes) and applying a well-reputed evaluation method (quasi-experiment). The main result is that no systematic or general trends can be seen in the material. This result casts a shadow over the optimistic results from earlier evaluations and suggests that the main contribution of partnering might lie in its intangible effects.

  • 18.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Barriers for Innovation in Road Construction: A Technical Consultant's Perspective2019In: IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, Institute of Physics Publishing , 2019, no 1Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Technical consultants develop visions into buildable designs. Despite having a large impact on a construction project, there is a lack of research into the consultant's potential contribution to innovations. The main measure to stimulate innovation in the construction sector is providing contractor with degrees of freedom through design-build contracting. This contracting form is not new, but there are still problems with the sector productivity. Consultants enter construction projects in the planning stage and set the framework for what the contactors, in the following phase, can build. This paper aims at identifying the consultants' incentives for innovations in road construction. Four barriers for consultants to preserve degrees of freedom in the planning process have been identified: the legislation, strive for concretion, fixed prices payment schemes and monetary bonuses on finishing the road plan obstruct innovation. Removing such barriers can both improve productivity and contribute to a more sustainable construction market.

  • 19.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics, TEK.
    Den svenska fordonsbesiktningen: regleringens existensberättigande och välfärdseffekter av reformen2014In: Ekonomisk Debatt, ISSN 0345-2646, no 5, p. 59-69Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Den 1 juni 2010 reformerades marknaden för fordonsbesiktningen genom att privata företag tilläts erbjuda dessa tjänster. Tre år efter reformen kan det konstateras att inte mycket har förändrats på marknaden, att det saknas en strukturerad uppföljning av reformens välfärdseffekter samt att förarbetena till reformen inte utredde den grundläggande frågan om fordonsbesiktningens existensberättigande. Föreliggande studie avser att granska reformen utifrån två perspektiv, dels välfärdsteoretiskt, dels hur den obligatoriska fordonsbesikt-ningen motiveras. Välfärdsförluster av reformen är svåra att finna. Därutöver dras slutsatsen att fordonsförordningen som reglerar fordonsbesiktningen även täcks av annan lagstiftning.

  • 20.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Det reala behovet av infrastruktur: En granskning av empirin och vägen framåt2013In: Investeringar in blanco: En ESO-rapport om behovet av infrastruktur / [ed] Hultkrantz och Nyström, Stockholm: Finansdepartementet , 2013, p. 51-64Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Föreliggande studie syftar till att granska argumenten som lyfts fram för mer svensk infrastruktur. Begreppet infrastruktur avser här statligt finansierad järnväg och väg. Först  diskuteras principiella argument som kan användas för att motivera höjda anslag infrastrukturinvesteringar. Därefter granskas rapporter utgivna under de senaste åren. Slutsatsen är att de empiriska underlag som finns för denna debatt är svaga. Därefter diskuteras vad som kan göras för att förbättra detta.

  • 21.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Produktivitetsstudie: kvalitetssäkring av Trafikverkets egna kostnadsdata gällande drift och underhåll av vägar2012Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Trafikverket (The Swedish Transport Administration) has been criticized for not systematically following up their productivity. This report is an initial study of the possibility to report productivity regarding maintenance on an aggregate level. The study builds on the Swedish Road Administration´s own databases VERA, Agresso, and the project leaders' own data. Three contracts have been studied in detail to assure that the cost data is consistent between VERA/Agresso and the project leader´s own data. The picture that emerges is that the cost data from VERA is of good quality for the three projects. This means that data from the project leader is consistent with data from VERA. Minor deviations between the data sources are due to a vague definition of maintenance in the VERA coding. This needs to be clarified before going further with the VERA data. VERA is now discontinued in favor of Agresso, which means that VERA can only be used for describing productivity up to 2009. The quality assurance of cost data from Agresso has not been able to be done in the same extent. Studies of productivity need to be controlled concerning the quality of the service delivered. A maintenance contract with a lower cost per kilometer is not necessarily better than a contract with a higher cost if the latter has a much higher quality of the service provided. A first step in controlling this is to separately disclose both winter maintenance and additional orders. 

  • 22.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics, TEK.
    The balance of unbalanced bidding2015In: Procedia Economics and Finance, E-ISSN 2212-5671, Vol. 21, p. 97-103Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Based on anecdotal evidence, claims are made that unbalanced bidding is a serious problem in the construction industry. This concept is based on a situation with a contractor being more informed than the client. The asymmetry in information can be used by the contactor to skew unit prices in the ex ante bid and in order to enhance the ex post profit. This is done by increasing the unit price of a quantity that is expected to go up and lower the unit price of a quantity expected to decrease. Research regarding unbalanced bidding has to a large extent focused on models to assists clients in detecting and contractors in optimising the skew. There is also theoretical literature on efficiency losses of unbalanced bidding. The latter models show that it is rational for an informed contractor to raise unit prices on relative underestimated quantities. However, empirical studies that capture the magnitude of the problem are lacking. This paper sets out to fill that void. The analysis is based on a unique dataset of 15 Swedish road investments and 2 795 observations. Data consist of ex ante unit prices and quantities that are related to the final (ex post) quantities. By looking for a positive correlation between these variables and controlling for other affecting variables, the hypothesis of unbalanced bidding can be empirically tested. Along earlier studies on US data, this paper, using more project specific control variables concluded that the effect is even smaller or non-existent.

  • 23.
    Nyström, Johan
    KTH.
    The definition of partnering as a Wittgenstein family-resemblance concept2005In: Construction Management and Economics, ISSN 0144-6193, E-ISSN 1466-433X, Vol. 23, no 5, p. 473-481Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article on partnering and family-resemblance makes two contributions to the debate about the definition of partnering in construction. The first is a distinction between general prerequisites, components and goals when discussing the concept. In order to understand what is specific about partnering the focus should be on the components, which are identified through a literature review. The second contribution is to apply Ludwig Wittgenstein's idea of family-resemblance to the partnering concept. His idea is that a complex concept can be understood as a network of overlapping similarities.

    From the literature review it is concluded that there are two necessary components in partnering - trust and mutual understanding - and that a number of different components can be added to form a specific variant of partnering. This provides a new method to define the vague and multifaceted concept of partnering in a flexible and structured way.

  • 24.
    Nyström, Johan
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Bröchner, Jan
    Chalmers.
    Mandell, Svante
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Design-Build, Innovation, and Competition: The Role of Smaller Contractors2017In: ICCREM 2017: Project Management and Construction Technology - Proceedings of the International Conference on Construction and Real Estate Management 2017, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) , 2017, p. 11-18Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Design-build (DB) contracting can be used to promote innovation in the infrastructure sector. Alongside innovation, public clients often wish to encourage competition. At a first glance, these two ambitions could be conflicting. More risk on the contractors stemming from DB might not appeal to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as they, ceteris paribus, have a risk disadvantage compared to larger firms. The research question is how more DB contracting will affect competition from a SME perspective. A simple model is provided to show how DBB stimulates competition and DB encourages innovation. Supported by semi-structured SME interviews from Sweden, it is discussed how the hybrid version of a controlled DB contract is inferior to alternative contract designs. The controlled DB contract does not stimulate competition nor provide incentives for innovation.

  • 25.
    Nyström, Johan
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics, TEK.
    Lind, Hans
    KTH.
    Nilsson, Jan-Eric
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics, TEK.
    Degrees of freedom in road construction2014Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    One policy that is believed to increase the rate of innovation and the level of productivity is to move from Design-bid-build contracts (DBB) to Design-Build contracts (DB). A common view is that the latter provides the contractor more degrees of freedom to enable innovation. This hypothesis consists of two steps, first that DB actually has more degrees of freedom and secondly that more degrees of freedom leads to more innovation. This paper focuses on the first step and is based on a review of five road construction projects – two labelled DBB and three DB. It is demonstrated that there is a gap between the textbook definition of the two types of contracts and the actual design of the examples. The degrees of freedom for the contractor are restricted in both DB and DBB contracting and no significant difference in this dimension could be established. Based on this lack of difference in the five projects, the expectation of innovation for the labelled contracts cannot be settled. Some possible rational reasons for the client to restrict the degrees of freedom are also suggested.

  • 26.
    Nyström, Johan
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Mandell, Svante
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Skew to win, not to profit: unbalanced bidding among informed bidders2019In: Journal of Public Procurement, ISSN 1535-0118, E-ISSN 2150-6930, Vol. 19, no 1, p. 46-54Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: Several sectors, especially the construction industry, use unit price contracting (UPC). This contracting form provides agents, ex ante, with estimated quantities of the work to be done. Competing agents then offer corresponding unit prices i.e. the bid is a price vectors, and most often the lowest vector sum is awarded the contract. This way of procuring is not only transparent but also entails a potential problem of unbalanced bidding. Unbalanced bidding occurs when an informed agent skews unit prices to win the ex ante bid. The concept is not new topic in research, but theoretical models from an economics perspective are not extensive.

    Design/methodology/approach: This paper will focus on how competition among informed bidders will affect the optimal solution.

    Findings: It is shown that skewing is still a dominating strategy under competition. However, competition will decrease, but not necessarily eliminate, information rents.

    Originality/value: In this setting, unbalanced bidding could mainly be seen as a way to win the contract and not to extract information rents. Thus, it would not constitute an efficiency problem for the client.

  • 27.
    Nyström, Johan
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Nilsson, Jan-Eric
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Börjesson, Maria
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Delay Fees in the Procurement of Construction Projects2019In: Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, ISSN 0022-5258, E-ISSN 1754-5951, Vol. 53, p. 348-363Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper suggests Delay Fees (DF) to handle temporary congestion during road works. The DF is paid by the contractor based on road users' loss of travel time due to construction. This decentralises the trade-off between construction costs and user time to the contractor, increasing social welfare. The contractor not only will account for user time during each single project, but also is incentivised to develop innovative construction techniques. Compared to other means in the literature for reducing temporary construction, the DF is more general in its focus on user time rather than lane closure.

  • 28.
    Nyström, Johan
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Nilsson, Jan-Eric
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Lind, Hans
    Beyond terminology: which contracting features promote innovation2014In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Construction in a Changing World, in Kandalana, Sri Lanka, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two opposing contracting forms in construction are DB (Design and build) and DBB (Design - bid - build).  The  first  one  provides  the  contractor  degrees  of  freedom  in  design,  which  enables innovation. DBB is the safe and traditional contracting form, where the client is responsible for the design and the contractor build accordingly. There is a lack of empirical studies comparing these contracting forms on efficiency and innovation. A first step in comparing is to define and separate the contracts.

    The straightforward solution is to use the client instigated definitions at face  value  i.e. a contract  is  a  DB  or  a  DBB according  to  the  client. This  is  shown to  be problematic  by  using five  road  construction projects  from Sweden. One  of the  DBB indicates more  degrees  of  freedom  in  design  than  a DB  contract  and  only  one  DB  project  invites  new methods  for  construction. The  paper  concludes  that contract  labelling is  not a  good proxy for degrees  of  freedomin  design,  which  is  was  theoretically  drives  innovation.  This insight facilitates future studies to evaluate contracting forms.

  • 29.
    Nyström, Johan
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Nilsson, Jan-Eric
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Lind, Hans
    Kungliga Tekniska högskolan.
    Degrees of freedom and innovations in construction contracts2016In: Transport Policy, ISSN 0967-070X, E-ISSN 1879-310X, Vol. 47, p. 119-126Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    DB (Design and build) and DBB (Design-bid-build) represent two different contracting forms in construction. The first provides the contractor degrees of freedom in design, which enables innovation. DBB is the safe and traditional contracting form, where the client is responsible for the design and the contractor builds accordingly.

    Using a case study approach of five Swedish road construction projects, the present paper compares these contracting forms in terms of innovation. In this, the client's labelling of a contract being DB or DBB is taken at face value. It is established that the actual degrees of freedom for the contractors are highly restricted and that no important difference can be seen between the contracting forms regarding innovation. This implies that it is no reason to expect more innovation simply by labelling contracts as DB. Rational explanations for the usage of DB-contracts with bounds on the degrees of freedom are also suggested. Policy implications for promoting innovation in infrastructure contracting finalise the study.

  • 30.
    Nyström, Johan
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Ridderstedt, Ivan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Österström, Johannes
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Stimulera konkurrensen i anläggningssektorn: hur behandlas små och medelstora företag i våra grannländer?2016Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Swedish market for road construction and maintenance is often described as having a problem with sufficient competition. Similar countries have more dynamic markets with an adequate number of bidders on each contract, the argument goes. However, analysis often ends there, with little or no empirical underpinning.

    The aim of this report is to map competition in the road market in Norway, Denmark, England and Germany with quantitative data and comparing it to the Swedish case. A concentration ratio, the market share of the four largest firms in relation to the whole market, is used as a key indicator. This measurement is completed with a comparison between the analysed countries regarding market institutions and initiatives to strengthen competition. This discussion is based on interviews with representatives of the supplier side. The focus is on the possibility of more firms entering the market, especially small and medium sized enterprises (SME).

    The most notable result is that Sweden has a high concentration in the market for roads, compared to the other countries. In addition to the high degree of market concentration, the Swedish market composition remains the same throughout the investigated period. This is contrasted with England, which has the most concentrated market in the sample but where the composition of the four largest companies changes over the years. Weighing market concentration and market dynamics together, Sweden is found to have less competition than the other analyzed countries.

  • 31.
    Nyström, Johan
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Wikström, Daniel
    Högskolan Dalarna.
    Empirical analysis of unbalanced bidding on Swedish roads2019Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Based on anecdotal evidence, claims are made that unbalanced bidding is a major problem in the construction industry. This concept refers to a sealed price auction setting with asymmetric information and unit prices, where information rents are extracted. Theoretical literature has shown that it is rational for an informed contractor to skew unit prices. However, empirical studies on the magnitude of the problem are lacking. As the first quantitative study based on European data, it is shown that unbalanced bidding exists, but in small magnitudes. The result is in line with earlier studies from the US.

  • 32.
    Olsson, Nils O. E.
    et al.
    Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Pyddoke, Roger
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Governance regimes for large transport infrastructure investment projects: Comparative analysis of Norway and Sweden2019In: Case Studies on Transport Policy, ISSN 2213-624X, E-ISSN 2213-6258Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The two Nordic countries Norway and Sweden have launched governance regimes for the early phases of transport infrastructure investments after experiencing frequent cost overruns and low cost-benefit ratios. This study seeks to find out if these governance regimes have reduced the escalation of costs from early estimates to finalized projects and influenced the choice of projects away from those with lower benefit to cost ratios. We have compared governance regimes for major transport infrastructure investments in the two countries and examined the development and content of quality assurance activities, the involvement of internal and external parties, their duties and responsibilities, their stage gate models, and how decisions are made. The findings are that both countries have introduced formalizations of their governance regimes that mandate project reviews during the planning process and quality assurance, both of which have increased early cost estimates. One difference was that in Norway, the Ministry of Finance manages the quality assurance scheme and imposes external quality assurance requirements, while Sweden has no corresponding ministerial oversight. Therefore, on the one hand, the process is more strictly formalized in Norway, but on the other hand, cost-benefit ratios appear to have more weight in Sweden. Furthermore, although both countries have done several ex post evaluations, neither country has introduced a formalized ex post evaluation process allowing for systematic examination of the causes of cost overruns and low benefit to cost ratios. Even so, politicians may manoeuvre projects with lower benefit to cost ratios around the governance systems in both countries. Finally, some projects in both countries still have experienced significant cost escalations despite these processes.

  • 33.
    Olykke, Grith Skovgaard
    et al.
    Copenhagen Business School.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics.
    Defining abnormally low tenders: A comparison between Sweden and Denmark2017In: Journal of Competition Law, ISSN 1744-6414, E-ISSN 1744-6422, Vol. 13, no 4, p. 666-709Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The concept of an abnormally low tender is not defined in EU public procurement law. This article takes an interdisciplinary law and economics approach to examine a dataset consisting of Swedish and Danish judgments and verdicts concerning the concept of an abnormally low tender. The purpose is to determine how the concept has developed in practice in two Scandinavian countries with similar legal traditions, and whether the national solutions are economically efficient. The data indicate that economic operators use various pricing strategies which may result in tenders being rejected as abnormally low or the awards of contracts to such tenders being contested. The pricing strategies will (over time) result in the contracting authorities paying too high a price and they are, therefore, economically inefficient. It is concluded that diverse solutions to the handling of abnormally low tenders have developed in the two countries and, notably, that the approaches differ with regard to how they treat different pricing strategies. Thus, the solutions are also different in terms of economic efficiency.

  • 34.
    Pyddoke, Roger
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics, TEK.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics, TEK.
    Nilsson, Jan-Eric
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics, TEK.
    Två studier av kostnader för upphandlade asfaltbeläggningar2014Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This report presents the results of two studies that analyze the costs of the Swedish Transport Administration’s (Trafikverket) tendered contracts for road pavements. Trafikverket provided two different sources of information about the pavement orders/contracts. The first is VUH database containing more than 20 000 registered and completed orders from the years 2001 to 2011. The second is a compilation of 285 contracts for replacement pavements, i.e. reinvestment in the form of new pavement on longer stretches of road, tendered in 2012 and 2013. The first study analyzes a subset of observations from the VUH database for the most frequent combinations of type and variety separately and for all observations. The results show that the price of bitumen has a strong impact on the cost of pavements: An increase in bitumen price by 10 percent, increases the price of pavements between 1.2 and 3.7 percent. There is some evidence of economies of scale in operations. The cost of pavements, thus increases by between 7 and 10 percent when the size of orders (in tons) increase by 10 percent. Competition measured as the number of active operators in the region during the year, has no significant effect. With some variation, the region of Skåne has lower and the region North region higher costs than other regions. The second demonstrates that cost increase by nearly six percent if the size (in square meters) of a contract increases by 10 percent. There are thus economies of scale to increase in size measured as area. The size of a contract may also be measured as the number of orders in each contract. The analysis indicates that the cost increases with the number of orders. That means that even though there may be economies of scale associated with the procurement of replacement pavements that are large as measured by the pavement are, there may still be reasons not to combine too many orders in one contract. One explanation may be that the distance between the component parts of the overall contract is too long.

  • 35.
    Vierth, Inge
    et al.
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Nyström, Johan
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Transport economics Stockholm.
    Godstransporter och samhällsekonomiska kalkyler2013Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The latest winters have caused problems for freight transport in Sweden. The subsequent discussion is about how well the freight transport is captured in the socioeconomic calculations, i.e. within cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of infrastructure investment and maintenance. Voices have been raised that there are major flaws. Such errors would mean that important freight-related investments are undervalued in the calculations. This study set out to provide an overview of how well the benefits and costs related to the transport of goods are reflected in the economic calculations. Sweden has a long tradition and a well-developed methodology to use CBAs in government infrastructure planning. Swedish infrastructure is primarily state funded, which means that the link between buyers and sellers is not direct. It is up to politicians to assess the demand for and potential benefits of transport. CBA is a tool to quantify the benefits to society of an infrastructure investment and compare it to the cost. If the benefits outweigh costs, it is justified to build/improve. The unit values for travel time savings and improved reliability used in the calculations are set by ASEK, an independent working group. The underlying transport forecasts and causes of effects are the responsibility of the Swedish Transport Administration. One big benefit post in these calculations is time savings, i.e. that people and goods will arrive faster than before thanks to a new/improved road or railway. To estimate these values, appraisal studies focus on how people value that they arrive earlier or companies that their goods arrive earlier. Basically, answering the question how much money you are willing to pay to reduce transport time by e.g. an hour? It is reasonable to believe that willingness to pay differs between different persons and companies. The discussions after the problematic winters have been about how companies value reliability of the infrastructure and if these values are incorporated in the CBAs. The concept of reliability is to avoid delays and cancellations, i.e. to be able to trust that transports go according to plan.

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