How transaction costs affect real estate developers entering into the building energy efficiency (BEE) market?

Queena K. Qian, Hon Wan Edwin Chan, Lennon H.T. Choy

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Buildings consume a major proportion of the electricity power in most cities, thus promoting building energy efficiency (BEE) will directly contribute to low carbon cities. Some studies suggest that the additional investment on BEE should be well paid off by higher selling prices or more savings in term of life cycle costing. Real estate developers are profit driven and working in a competitive environment. However, it appears that real estate developers are skeptical in entering the BEE market, which requires alternate theories to explain their behaviors. In this study, we attempt incorporating transaction cost economics (TCE) and game theoretical frameworks into the analysis. It suggests that the anticipated transaction costs entailed in the provision of BEE products due to such factors as bounded rationality, opportunism and contractual hazards, combined with the asymmetrical information in the BEE market have curtailed the developers' interests. This study also leads to suggesting some policy recommendations to induce the developers entering into the BEE market by reducing the transaction costs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-147
Number of pages10
JournalHabitat International
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Building energy efficiency (BEE)
  • Game theory
  • Information asymmetry
  • Low carbon
  • Transaction cost economics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies

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