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The Risks and Tricks in Public-Private Partnerships


  • Elisabetta Iossa
  • Giancarlo Spagnolo
  • Mercedes Vellez


PPPs have been implemented broadly around the world in the infrastructure sector -water and sanitation, transports, energy, and telecommunications- and, more recently, in the provision of public services -education, health, prisons, and water and waste management. Key aspects of the contract design, such as risk allocation and payment mechanisms, significantly affect the PPP outcomes because they affect the incentives of the public and private parties to deliver a public service that satisfies user needs. Nevertheless, contractual provisions used in practice often do not implement the efficient risk allocation. In this paper, we discuss the crucial role of the public sector in designing and imposing standardized contracts, monitoring their compliance, disclosing contractual information to the general public, and transferring risks to the private sector in order to reduce the likelihood of PPP performance failure.

Suggested Citation

  • Elisabetta Iossa & Giancarlo Spagnolo & Mercedes Vellez, 2013. "The Risks and Tricks in Public-Private Partnerships," IEFE Working Papers 64, IEFE, Center for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:bcu:iefewp:iefewp64

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    Cited by:

    1. ArbulĂș, Italo & Lozano, Javier & Rey-Maquieira, Javier, 2017. "The challenges of tourism to waste-to-energy public-private partnerships," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 916-921.

    More about this item


    Concession contracts; Incentives; Public Private Partnerships; Risk Allocation;

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • L38 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Policy

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