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Private-Sector Investment in Infrastructure: Rationale and Causality for Pro-poor Impacts


  • Rebecca Shah
  • Richard Batley


This article reviews the arguments for promoting private investment in infrastructure as a basis for poverty reduction in developing countries. It describes the experience leading to the development of international 'facilities' intended to address impediments to private investment. It then explores three 'levels' of literature: that of the facilities themselves, of donor organisations, and of academic authors. At each, it investigates the rationale and causal pathways leading from support for private investment to pro-poor outcomes. It finds there is a possible but not necessary association between private investment, economic growth and poverty reduction, but the causal chain is poorly understood. It proposes the development of such a causal framework. Copyright (c) The Authors 2009. Journal compilation (c) 2009 Overseas Development Institute..

Suggested Citation

  • Rebecca Shah & Richard Batley, 2009. "Private-Sector Investment in Infrastructure: Rationale and Causality for Pro-poor Impacts," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 27(4), pages 397-417, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:devpol:v:27:y:2009:i:4:p:397-417

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