The Transportation Research Record published a paper, entitled “Public–Private Partnership and Social Equity: An Empirical Study of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program.” The paper examined the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program to assess whether delivery methods play a role in the participation of minority- and women-owned firms in federally assisted transportation contracts.
A sample of 134 contracts from the US Major Transportation Project Database served as the dataset to run linear regressions. Results revealed that P3 associates with higher DBE goals than design–bid–build (DBB). Plausible explanations include P3 being associated with a larger contract size, more public attention, more potential subcontracting opportunities with design included in the package, and intensified agency desire for greater diversity in DBE subcontracts. Moreover, the delivery method has an insignificant effect on DBE attainment. This paper also introduces the DBE envelope, a radar plot capable of graphically assessing DBE program implementation.
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