Soft Budgets And Highway Franchising
Latin American governments progressively substituted build–operate–and–transfer (BOT) contracts for government–provided highways during the nineties. Because under BOT a private franchise holder finances and operates the road in exchange for tolls, it is often claimed that BOT represents a privatization of highways. We argue that, as currently applied, the BOT model is an imperfect and incomplete privatization, because the franchise holders’ budget constraint has been soft, with losses being shifted to tax payers via minimum income guarantees and contract renegotiations. Soft budget constraints are inconsistent with the standard arguments in favor of BOT contracts and call into question their avowed advantages. Moreover, both renegotiations and minimum income guarantees allow governments to finance current expenditures with future tax receipts, sidestepping the normal budgetary process. We propose various changes to the current model aimed at correcting its defects. First, franchises should be awarded through Present-Value-of-Revenue auctions rather than fixed-term franchises. Second, the agency in charge of monitoring contract compliance and regulating franchises should differ from the agency that plans and auctions projects. Third, franchises should be subject to hard budget constraints, so that both profits and losses are privatized. Key words: build-operate-and-transfer (BOT), concessions, cost-of-funds, franchising, government subsidies, present-value- of-revenue (PVR), regulation, renegotiation.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Schwartz, Warren F & Sykes, Alan O, 2002. "The Economic Structure of Renegotiation and Dispute Resolution in the World Trade Organization," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 179-204, January.
- Lisa J. Cameron, 2000. "Limiting Buyer Discretion: Effects on Performance and Price in Long-Term Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 265-281, March.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1990.
"A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 403-414.
- Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Scholarly Articles 3612769, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- 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.
- J. Luis Guasch & Jean-Jacques Laffont & Stephane Straub, 2003. "Renegotiation of Concession Contracts in Latin America," ESE Discussion Papers 103, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
- Estache, Antonio & Carbajo, Jose C. & de Rus, Gines, 1999. "Argentina's transport privatization and re-regulation : ups and downs of a daring decade-long experience," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2249, The World Bank.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:edj:ceauch:176. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.