Factors influencing transaction costs of prefabricated housing projects in China: developers' perspective

Hongjuan Wu*, Queena K. Qian, Ad Straub, Henk J. Visscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: The recent promotion of prefabricated housing (PH) in China has resulted in a prosperous period for its implementation. However, transaction costs (TCs) cause low economic efficiency to stakeholders and hinder the further promotion of PH. No relevant study has yet been made to investigate the TCs and their causes in the PH field. This paper identifies critical TCs and explores the influencing factors from the developers' perspective. Design/methodology/approach: Semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire survey were used to collect data about TCs and influencing factors. The most influential factors are identified with their impacts on particular TCs, yielded from correlation analysis and logistic regression. Findings: From the developers' perspective in China's PH market, this study identified that the most concerning sources of TCs are: hidden costs arising from disputes, extra workloads from design changes, learning costs, intensive communication and coordination in assembly and unexpected information costs in decision-making. The use of an ordered logistic regression approach indicates that the four most influential factors are: qualification of the general contractor, mandatory local policies, owner type and competitiveness of the developer. Practical implications: To reduce the TCs, experiencing learning and ensuring the design scheme's complicity are recommended to save information searching and exchanging costs. The implications for the PH developers are for them to: (1) professionalize their own organization and (2) procure high-qualified general contractors. For the policymakers, this means they should improve the clarity of the mandatory local policies for PH step-by-step. Originality/value: By applying the TCs economic theory, this study explores factors that influence TCs in the PH industry. It sheds light on the influencing mechanism behind the TCs in the context of prefabricated housing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-501
Number of pages26
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Developers
  • Ordered logistic regression
  • Prefabricated housing
  • Stakeholders
  • Transaction cost


Dive into the research topics of 'Factors influencing transaction costs of prefabricated housing projects in China: developers' perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this