IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Programming, optimal pricing and partnership contract for infrastructures in PPPs


  • Alain Bonnafous

    () (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - ENTPE - École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)


The development of various forms of public-private partnerships for the financing, building and operating of public infrastructure has not fundamentally altered the economic calculations involved. This chapter examines to what extent it is necessary, however, to change the way that government uses socio-economic and financial evaluations, whether to optimise investment programming or pricing. Ensuring a coherent match between these two types of optimisation can provide a principle for determining the optimal programming price. We begin by showing that when projects are financed by both users (toll revenues) and taxpayers (subsidies), it is socially beneficial to plan these investments on the basis of the net present value (NPV) provided by each unit of public money invested. This NPV/subsidy ratio must obviously be higher than the public-funding scarcity coefficient or else the investment would destroy more wealth than it would produce. One of the ways of improving this ratio is also to optimise the toll level, since increasing it can lower the subsidy but has an adverse impact on the user surplus, it is essential to set the optimal toll. In the case of an approved project considered in isolation, we show that the optimal toll depends upon the public-funding scarcity coefficient. If there is no scarcity, the optimal toll is zero. As public-funding becomes scarcer, the optimal toll draws closer to the toll that optimises revenue. In the case of a programme of several projects subject to budget constraint, we show that the optimal toll no longer depends upon the public-funding scarcity coefficient and that there are several scenarios depending on the relative values of the maximum revenue and the total cost of the project: − when, whatever the toll, revenue can no longer cover over half of the cost, it is socially beneficial to choose not to levy any toll; − when there is a toll that covers the total cost, the operator may be left free to set it at the level he sees fit, with the issue of how the profits are to be shared between the franchisee and the franchisor being settled separately; − when the maximum revenue of the project falls between half and all of the total cost, the value of the toll that maximises the welfare function is lower than the revenue-maximising toll and must therefore be set for the private operator by government. Thus, the partnership contract must be given a different content in these three cases of optimal pricing.

Suggested Citation

  • Alain Bonnafous, 2010. "Programming, optimal pricing and partnership contract for infrastructures in PPPs," Post-Print halshs-00578246, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00578246
    DOI: 10.1016/j.retrec.2010.10.003
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alain Bonnafous, 2005. "Infrastructure Funding and Public-Private Partnerships," Post-Print halshs-00079768, HAL.
    2. Alain Bonnafous, 2002. "Les infrastructures de transport et la logique financière du partenariat public-privé : quelques paradoxes," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 17(1), pages 173-194.
    3. Alain Bonnafous & Pablo Jensen, 2005. "Ranking Transport Projects by their Socioeconomic Value or Financial Interest rate of return?," Post-Print halshs-00079721, HAL.
    4. Claudine Desrieux, 2006. "Le rôle de l'autorité publique dans la gestion des services publics locaux. Une approche par la théorie des contrats incomplets," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(3), pages 529-539.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Bonnafous, Alain, 2012. "The use of PPP's and the profitability rate paradox," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 45-49.
    2. Rouhani, Omid M. & Niemeier, Debbie & Knittel, Christopher R. & Madani, Kaveh, 2013. "Integrated modeling framework for leasing urban roads: A case study of Fresno, California," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 17-30.
    3. Bonnafous, Alain, 2015. "The economic regulation of French highways: Just how private did they become?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 33-41.

    More about this item


    PPP; Programming; Financing; Pricing;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00578246. 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: (CCSD). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.