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Type: Journal article
Title: Application of system dynamics to evaluate the social and economic benefits of infrastructure projects
Author: Nguyen, V.
Cook, S.
Ireland, V.
Citation: Systems, 2017; 5(2):29-1-29-21
Publisher: MDPI
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 2079-8954
Statement of
Tiep Nguyen, Stephen Cook and Vernon Ireland
Abstract: Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is often employed to inform decision makers about the desirability of transport infrastructure investment options. One of the main limitations of traditional CBA approaches is that they do not provide a dynamic view that explicitly illustrates the cost and benefit relationships between component entities over time. This paper addresses this issue by describing a System Dynamics (SD) approach that can perform transport infrastructure CBA through the application of systems thinking to develop a causal-loop model that can subsequently be operationalised into an executable stock-and-flow model. Execution of this model readily enables sensitivity analysis of infrastructure investment options and visualisation of the cost-benefit behaviour of each variant over time. The utility of the approach is illustrated through a case study, the Co Chien Bridge project in Vietnam, using a model that incorporates conventional economic metrics and factors that measure indirect project benefits, such as impact on gross domestic product, unemployment rate, and total taxes gained from affected economic sectors.
Keywords: Cost-benefit analysis; transport infrastructure project; system dynamics; social and economic factors
Description: Published: 29 March 2017
Rights: © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
RMID: 0030070351
DOI: 10.3390/systems5020029
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation, and Innovation Centre publications

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