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


  • Peter Nijkamp
  • Sytze A.Rienstra


[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 ressort du secteur public Au XIXe siècle les infrastructures ferroviaires européennes étaient financées et exploitées par le secteur privé Par la suite tat assuma de plus en plus de responsabilités Cet article analyse ainsi les raisons pour lesquelles le gouvernement hollandais assumé le financement des infrastructures afin en tirer des conclusions pour le présent et le futur Même au XXe siècle de nombreux projets européens ont été financés par le secteur privé La troisième partie de cet article passe en revue plusieurs projets le tunnel sous la Manche le tunnel du mont Blanc le pont de Dartford les tunnels hollandais Storebeit etc. et analyse leurs conditions de succès économique et politique On pourra conclure que influence des gouvernements va et devra rester prépondérante pour des raisons économiques politiques et écologiques Cepen dant une certaine participation privée au financement des infrastructures de transport est une option intéressante dans divers cas

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  • Peter Nijkamp & Sytze A.Rienstra, 1997. "Lessons from Private Financing of Transport Infrastructure : Dutch Infrastructure in the 19th Century and European projects in the 20th Century," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 48(2), pages 231-246.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:reveco:reco_0035-2764_1997_num_48_2_409872
    Note: DOI:10.3406/reco.1997.409872

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Nijkamp, Peter & Rienstra, Sytze A, 1995. "Private Sector Involvement in Financing and Operating Transport Infrastructure," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 29(2), pages 221-235, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ubbels, Barry & Verhoef, Erik T., 2008. "Auctioning concessions for private roads," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 155-172, January.
    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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