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Renegotiation Without Holdup: Anticipating Spending and Infrastructure Concessions

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  • Eduardo Engel
  • Ronald Fischer
  • Alexander Galetovic

Abstract

Infrastructure concessions are frequently renegotiated after investments are sunk, resulting in better contractual terms for the franchise holders. This paper offers a political economy explanation for renegotiations that occur with no apparent holdup. We argue that they are used by political incumbents to anticipate infrastructure spending and thereby increase the probability of winning an upcoming election. Contract renegotiations allow administrations to replicate the effects of issuing debt. Yet debt issues are incorporated in the budget, must be approved by Congress and are therefore subject to the opposition%u2019s review. By contrast, under current accounting standards the obligations created by renegotiations circumvent the budgetary process in most countries. Hence, renegotiations allow incumbents to spend more without being subject to Congressional oversight.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12399.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12399

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  1. Guasch, J. Luis & Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Straub, Stephane, 2003. "Renegotiation of concession contracts in Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3011, The World Bank.
  2. Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & Ronald D. Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 1998. "Least-Present-Value-of-Revenue Auctions and Highway Franchising," NBER Working Papers 6689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Scholarly Articles 3612769, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. J. Luis Guasch, 2004. "Granting and Renegotiating Infrastructure Concessions : Doing it Right," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15024, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Guasch, J. Luis & Straub, Stphane, 2009. "Corruption and concession renegotiations.: Evidence from the water and transport sectors in Latin America," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 185-190, June.
  2. Athias, Laure & Saussier, Stéphane, 2007. "Contractual flexibility or rigidity for public private partnerships? Theory and evidence from infrastructure concession contracts," MPRA Paper 10541, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Stéphane Saussier & Carine Staropoli & Anne Yvrande-Billon, 2009. "Public–Private Agreements, Institutions, and Competition: When Economic Theory Meets Facts," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 1-18, September.
  4. de Brux, Julie, 2010. "The Dark and Bright Sides of Renegotiation: An Application to Transport Concession Contracts," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 77-85, June.
  5. Elisabetta Iossa & David Martimort, 2009. "The Theory of Incentives Applied to the Transport Sector," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 09-04, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  6. World Bank, 2009. "Good Governance in Public-Private Partnerships : A Resource Guide for Practitioners," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12665, The World Bank.
  7. Chiara D'Alpaos & Michele Moretto & Paola Valbonesi, 2008. "Optimal penalty for investment delay in public procurement contracts," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0074, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  8. Athias, Laure & Nunez, Antonio, 2008. "The more the merrier? Number of bidders, information dispersion, renegotiation and winner’s curse in toll road concessions," MPRA Paper 10539, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Elisabetta Iossa & David Martimort, 2008. "The Simple Micro-Economics of Public-Private Partnerships," CEIS Research Paper 139, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 15 Feb 2013.
  10. Chiara D'Alpaos & Michele Moretto & Paola Valbonesi & Sergio Vergalli, 2009. "It is never too late: Optimal penalty for investment delay in public procurement contracts," Working Papers 0907, University of Brescia, Department of Economics.
  11. Jean Shaoul & Anne Stafford & Pam Stapleton, 2010. "Financial black holes: The disclosure and transparency of privately financed roads in the UK," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 23(2), pages 229-255, February.

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