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Pre-construction duration of public-private partnership projects: evidence from China

Cong Wang (School of Finance and Taxation, Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing, China)
Henry Liu (School of Design and the Built Environment, University of Canberra, Bruce, Australia)
Michael C.P. Sing (School of Architecture and Built Environment, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia)
Jin Wu (School of Investment and Construction Management, Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, Dalian, China)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 15 December 2022




Pre-construction of a project comprises stages that are pivotal for the procurement performance. It is defined as the duration from the project's initiation to construction. However, Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) have been subjected to a long pre-construction, thereby leading to an inefficient development process. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to pay attention to the influencing factors elongating the pre-construction duration.


Based on data of 5,677 PPP projects between 2009 and 2021 in China, the authors adopt the Accelerated Failure Time (AFT) model in duration analysis to empirically analyze the following underlying dynamics determining the duration of PPP pre-construction stages: (1) policy uncertainty; (2) corruption; and (3) procurement method selection. To observe the influencing paths more specifically, the authors divided the pre-construction duration into the pre-tendering period and tendering period and regressed them separately.


The results indicate that the pre-construction duration is significantly prolonged with increased policy uncertainty and corruption degree as well as the use of tendering methods. Meanwhile, the above factors have a greater impact on the pre-tendering period than the tendering period.


The contribution of this study is twofold: (1) theoretically, this paper provides new evidence on the impact of PPP policy uncertainty, corruption and procurement method selection on the pre-construction duration. It complements empirical studies on the factors elongating the time efficiency of PPPs projects. (2) In practice, it provides a specific path for the government to improve the time efficiency of PPPs.



Wang, C., Liu, H., Sing, M.C.P. and Wu, J. (2022), "Pre-construction duration of public-private partnership projects: evidence from China", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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