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Lessons from Private Financing of Transport Infrastructure : Dutch Infrastructure in the 19th Century and European projects in the 20th Century


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  • Sytze A.Rienstra
  • Peter Nijkamp


[eng] In the past decade serious doubts have been expressed on the efficiency of a strong public financial involvement in infrastructure. This provokes the question whether financing of infrastructure should be a task of the government. For this purpose, the paper first presents a concise theoretical overview under which cir­cumstances there is a case for public intervention.. Interestingly, the financing and operation of transport infrastructure has not always been the task of the public sector. In the 19th century, the railway infras­tructure in Europe was financed and operated by the private sector. Later, the government took over more and more responsibilities. This paper analyses there­fore the reasons for the Dutch government to take over the financing of infrastruc­ture, in order to draw conclusions for the present and the future.. Also in the 20th century many European projects have been privately finan­ced. In the third part of the paper an overview is presented of several projects (e.g., Channel Tunnel, Mont Blanc Tunnel, Dartford Bridge, Dutch tunnels, Store-belt.) as well as an analysis of the circumstances under which these are economi­cally successful and politically feasible.. It is concluded that the influence of governments will - and should- remain substantial because of economic, political and environmental reasons. However, (some degree of) private financing is an interesting option for transport infrastruc­ture in various cases. [fre] Durant la dernière décennie, de sérieux doutes ont été émis quant à l'efficacité d'une forte participation financière publique dans les infrastructures. Cela mène à se demander si le financement des infrastructures devrait être une tâche du gou­vernement. Dans ce but, cet article passe d'abord brièvement en revue les cir­constances justifiant une intervention publique.. II est intéressant de constater que le financement et la gestion des infrastruc tures de transport pas toujours été du re

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Article provided by Presses de Sciences-Po in its journal Revue économique.

Volume (Year): n° 48 (1997)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 231-246

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Handle: RePEc:cai:recosp:reco_p1997_48n2_0231

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  1. Nijkamp, Peter & Rienstra, Sytze A, 1995. "Private Sector Involvement in Financing and Operating Transport Infrastructure," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 221-35, May.
  2. G Marcou, 1993. "Public and private sectors in the delivery of public infrastructure: the case of the Channel Tunnel from an international perspective," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 11(1), pages 1-18, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Barry Ubbels & Erik Verhoef, 2004. "Auctioning Concessions for Private Roads," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-008/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Ashraf Bany Mohammed & Jorn Altmann, 2010. "A Funding and Governing Model for Achieving Sustainable Growth of Computing e-Infrastructures," TEMEP Discussion Papers 201062, Seoul National University; Technology Management, Economics, and Policy Program (TEMEP), revised Jun 2010.


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