The History of European Infrastructure Finance: An Analytical Framework
How can socio-economic resources be mobilized to pay for works that offer beneﬁts only in the future, often in the distant future? We discuss what we understand by infrastructure, a term that can have different meanings/semantic contents, and whose deﬁnition issues reveal some recurrent conceptual problems. Finance is here understood in the very broad sense of a set of mechanisms bringing to investment, and future beneﬁts, the resources needed in advance to pay for it. We offer a brief discussion of technological and organizational change, as several of our examples and other literature that we cite show that investment and ﬁnance decisions are deeply interwoven with knowledge, management, and technical progress. The paper analyses government involvement on both sides of our theme: investment and ﬁnancing decisions, but also on the wider issue of service provision in the context of emerging widespread social needs. In fact, the social demand for infrastructures often manifests itself as only mediated by governments or a small group of players, while the services offered by the infrastructure have subsequently created general interest, sometimes unexpectedly. We mention the tension between the national and the international dimensions and suggest a taxonomy of the macrotypes of infrastructure ﬁnancing we have identiﬁed, and sums up their spread and evolution over the long term.
|Date of creation:||22 Apr 2016|
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