Measuring Construction : Prices, Output and Productivity book cover
1st Edition

Measuring Construction
Prices, Output and Productivity

ISBN 9780415659376
Published May 26, 2015 by Routledge
288 Pages

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Book Description

Despite the size, complexity and importance of the construction industry, there has been little study to date which focuses on the challenge of drawing reliable conclusions from the available data. The accuracy of industry reports has an impact on government policy, the direction and outcomes of research and the practices of construction firms, so confusion in this area can have far reaching consequences.

In response to this, Measuring Construction looks at fundamental economic theories and concepts with respect to the construction industry, and explains their merits and shortcomings, sometimes by looking at real life examples. Drawing on current research the contributors tackle:

  • industry performance
  • productivity measurement
  • construction in national accounts
  • comparing international construction costs and prices
  • comparing international productivity

The scope of the book is international, using data and publications from four continents, and tackling head on the difficulties arising from measuring construction. By addressing problems that arise everywhere from individual project documentation, right up to national industrial accounts, this much-needed book can have an impact at every level of the industry. It is essential reading for postgraduate construction students and researchers, students of industrial economics, construction economists and policy-makers.

Table of Contents

1. Editors’ Introduction  Part 1: Construction Prices  2. Theory and Construction Prices (Goran Runeson)  3. The International Comparison Program and Purchasing Power Parities for Construction (Rick Best, Jim Meikle and Ken Walsh)  4. Cost and Price Indices for Construction (Graham Ive and Marco Yu)  Part 2: Construction Output  5. Construction and the Economy (Stephen Gruneberg and Jim Meikle)  6. Internationalization of the Construction Industry (Wilson Lu and Huan Yang)  7. Performance Measures  (Craig Langston)  8. Refining the citiBLOC Index (Craig Langston)  Part 3: Construction Productivity  9. Theory and Construction Productivity (Malcolm Abbott and Gerard de Valence)  10. Measuring Construction Productivity Using Price Data (Rick Best and Ken Walsh)  11. Construction Productivity and Neural Networks (Ali Najafi and Robert Tiong)  12. Data Envelopment Analysis and Construction Productivity (Malcolm Abbott) 13. Reflections on Construction Prices, Output and Productivity (Rick Best and Jim Meikle)

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Rick Best is Associate Professor of Construction Management and Economics at Bond University. He has produced numerous book chapters and papers over a 20 year career as an academic as well as co-editing three books and co-authoring two quantity surveying textbooks. He was the founding director of the Centre for Comparative Construction Research. His research over the past ten years has been focused on the problems associated with making valid comparisons of construction industries across countries and has contributed to the development of the most recent construction data collection project within the International Comparison Program.

Jim Meikle has a part-time chair in construction economics at the Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, University College, London (UCL). He also works as an independent consultant, having retired as a partner of Davis Langdon LLP in 2005. He has extensive experience in the management and implementation of construction, consultancy and research projects and programmes and has worked for private clients and government departments in the UK and other countries, and for international organisations. His interests include international comparisons, the structure and operation of construction industries and construction industry statistics. Jim is a non-executive director with Alexi Marmot Associates (AMA), a trustee of the Usable Buildings Trust and an adjunct professor at Bond University.


"In their endnote, the editors assert that "much that is written about construction prices, output, productivity and the rest is unreliable or plainly wrong". Their book is a helpful antidote. While offering more than a typical textbook for undergraduate courses, it should appeal to more than researchers in the field and deserves a broader readership."Construction Economics and Building, Jan Bröchner, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

"The book is highly recommended for everyone, academics as well as practitioners, who engages in international price and cost comparisons and/or in performance benchmarking in construction." - Bernard Vogl (2015), Construction Management and Economics, 33:9, 775-777,