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Soft Budgets and Renegotiations in Public-Private Partnerships

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  • Eduardo Engel
  • Ronald Fischer
  • Alexander Galetovic

Abstract

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are increasingly used to provide infrastructure services. Even though PPPs have the potential to increase efficiency and improve resource allocation, contract renegotiations have been pervasive. We show that existing accounting standards allow governments to renegotiate PPP contracts and elude spending limits. Our model of renegotiations leads to observable predictions: (i) in a competitive market, firms lowball their offers, expecting to break even through renegotiation, (ii) renegotiations compensate lowballing and pay for additional expenditure, (iii) governments use renegotiation to increase spending and shift the burden of payments to future administrations, and (iv) there are significant renegotiations in the early stages of the contract, e.g. during construction. We use data on Chilean renegotiations of PPP contracts to examine these predictions and find that the evidence is consistent with the predictions of our model. Finally, we show that if PPP investments are counted as current government spending, the incentives to renegotiate contracts to increase spending disappear.

Suggested Citation

  • Eduardo Engel & Ronald Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 2009. "Soft Budgets and Renegotiations in Public-Private Partnerships," NBER Working Papers 15300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15300
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eduardo Engel & Ronald Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 2013. "The Basic Public Finance Of Public–Private Partnerships," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 83-111, February.
    2. Eduardo Engel & Ronald Fischer & Alexander Galetovic & Manuel Hermosilla, 2009. "Renegociación de concesiones en Chile," Documentos de Trabajo 262, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
    3. Hillman, Arye L, 1982. "Declining Industries and Political-Support Protectionist Motives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1180-1187, December.
    4. Martimort, David & Pouyet, Jerome, 2008. "To build or not to build: Normative and positive theories of public-private partnerships," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 393-411, March.
    5. Bennett, John & Iossa, Elisabetta, 2006. "Building and managing facilities for public services," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 2143-2160, November.
    6. Cadot, Olivier & Roller, Lars-Hendrik & Stephan, Andreas, 2006. "Contribution to productivity or pork barrel? The two faces of infrastructure investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1133-1153, August.
    7. J. Luis Guasch & Jean-Jacques Laffont & Stéphane Straub, 2007. "Concessions of infrastructure in Latin America: Government-led renegotiation," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 1267-1294.
    8. J. Kornai & E. Maskin & G. Roland., 2004. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 12.
    9. 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.
    10. Timothy C. Irwin, 2007. "Government Guarantees : Allocating and Valuing Risk in Privately Financed Infrastructure Projects," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6638, April.
    11. Blanc-Brude, Frederic & Goldsmith, Hugh & Valila, Timo, 2007. "Public-Private Partnerships In Europe: An Update," Economic and Financial Reports 2007/3, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    12. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 2008. "Public-private partnerships and government spending limits," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 412-420, March.
    13. J. Luis Guasch & Stéphane Straub, 2006. "Renegotiation Of Infrastructure Concessions: An Overview," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 77(4), pages 479-493, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Iossa, Elisabetta & Martimort, David, 2016. "Corruption in PPPs, incentives and contract incompleteness," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 85-100.
    2. Emmanuelle Auriol & Stéphane Straub, 2011. "Privatization of Rent-Generating Industries and Corruption," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Corruption, Volume Two, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Eduardo Engel & Ronald Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 2014. "Finance and Public-Private Partnerships," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Alexandra Heath & Matthew Read (ed.), Financial Flows and Infrastructure Financing Reserve Bank of Australia.
    4. Martins, Ana Cravinho & Marques, Rui Cunha & Cruz, Carlos Oliveira, 2011. "Public-private partnerships for wind power generation: The Portuguese case," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 94-104, January.
    5. Stephane Straub, 2011. "Infrastructure and Development: A Critical Appraisal of the Macro-level Literature," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(5), pages 683-708.
    6. repec:bla:jomstd:v:54:y:2017:i:6:p:763-792 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Elisabetta Iossa & David Martimort, 2014. "Corruption in Public-Private Partnerships, Incentives and Contract Incompleteness," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(3), pages 14-16, October.
    8. repec:eee:juipol:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:141-146 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Calderon, Cesar & Serven, Luis, 2010. "Infrastructure in Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5317, The World Bank.
    10. Michael Trebilcock & Michael Rosenstock, 2015. "Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships in the Developing World: Lessons from Recent Experience," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(4), pages 335-354, April.
    11. Gawel, Erik, 2011. "Political drivers of and barriers to Public-Private Partnerships: The role of political involvement," Working Papers 98, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
    12. Kang, Chao-Chung & Lee, Tsun-Siou & Huang, Szu-Chi, 2013. "Royalty bargaining in Public–Private Partnership projects: Insights from a theoretic three-stage game auction model," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 1-14.
    13. repec:bri:cmpowp:13/325 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Lu, Zhaoyang & Meng, Qiang, 2017. "Analysis of optimal BOT highway capacity and economic toll adjustment provisions under traffic demand uncertainty," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 17-37.
    15. Domingues, Sérgio & Sarmento, Joaquim Miranda, 2016. "Critical renegotiation triggers of European transport concessions," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 82-91.
    16. Miranda Sarmento, J.J. & Renneboog, Luc, 2017. "Renegotiating Public-Private Partnerships," Discussion Paper 2017-014, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    17. Eduardo Engel & Ronald Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 2011. "Public-Private Partnerships and Infrastructure Provision in the United States," Documentos de Trabajo 277, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
    18. Marco Buso, 2014. "Public-Private Partnership: Information Externality in Sequential Investments," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0176, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    19. Kevin Dwarka & Eran Feitelson, 2013. "The political economy of urban infrastructure," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Mega-Projects, chapter 8, pages 158-181 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    20. repec:ces:ifodic:v:12:y:2014:i:3:p:19126465 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L91 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Transportation: General

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