Bent Flyvbjerg, a scholar of the University of Oxford in England, has studied mega-project mismanagement among 258 transportation infrastructure projects worldwide, and found that for every 10 projects, nine went over budget. The study also revealed the tendency of public officials and project proponents to engage in "strategic misrepresentation" to get the project approved. But one possible solution, writes Eric Jaffe, is the creation of a "reference class ... of similar projects to serve as a platform for comparing costs."

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