They Meant Well: Government Project Disasters

130 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2007

Date Written: 2007


How is it that so many major, government-sponsored projects can lose so much money? The answer to this question does not lie with malign intentions on behalf of their promoters within government. In a highly readable but detailed account of the history of six major government project failures, the author shows that failure results from mismanagement, lack of clear lines of political responsibility and lack of accountability. These problems have their roots in the wider economic problems of undertaking quasi-commercial ventures in the public, rather than in the private sector. The monograph examines the R.101 airship, the Groundnut Scheme, Nuclear Power, Concorde, the Channel Tunnel and the Millennium Dome.

Keywords: Government failure, R101 airship, Groundnut Scheme, Nuclear Power, Concorde, Channel Tunnel, Millennium Dome

JEL Classification: H1, H11, H4, H42, H43, H5, H57, L3, L33, L92, L93

Suggested Citation

Myddelton, D. R., They Meant Well: Government Project Disasters (2007). Institute of Economic Affairs Monographs, Hobart Paper No. 160, Available at SSRN:

D. R. Myddelton (Contact Author)

Cranfield University ( email )

Bedfordshire MK43 OAL, MK43 0AL
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics