Productivity and Technology in Construction

by Janet A. Koch, Young Professionals Program, World Bank, Washington, D.C.,
Fred Moavenzadeh, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg and Dir. of Tech. Adaption Program; Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Cambridge, Mass.,


Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 4, Pg. 351-366


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: Efforts are concentrated on the identification, quantification, and characterization of the technology change that has occurred in the highway sector of the U.S. construction industry over the past 50 yr. Gains in both labor and capital productivity and efficiency in the sector have been substantial, resulting in certain offsetting of factor price increases. Increased mechanization and introduction of new types of equipment appear to constitute the primary means of accomplishment of such technology change before the 1950s; since then, it has been largely just improving the equipment and the effectiveness with which it is used. If trends of the past are indicative of the future and past means of accomplishing technology change are to continue as the primary means in the future, however, gains in efficiency can be expected to be less than those previously.

Subject Headings: Infrastructure construction | Productivity | Labor | Assets | Pricing

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