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Revisiting the strengths and limitations of regulatory contracts in infrastructure industries

  • Marques, Rui Cunha
  • Berg, Sanford V

This paper evaluates regulation by contract in public-private partnerships (PPPs) in infrastructure services. Although the benefits of competition for the market and of regulatory contracts are widely acknowledged, the literature indentifies several failures in their design. These ‘flaws’ are present in both developed and developing countries and arise in all types of contracts. This study analyses both short and long term contracts, focusing on purely contractual PPPs and institutionalized PPPs (mixed companies). The evidence suggests that for all kinds of contracts, the major problems tend to arise in the preparation of public tender documents: the ‘best’ bidder is not often the winner. The likely results include redistribution in favor of the private partner, weak incentives for high performance, and renegotiation of contracts. Moreover, risks are not allocated correctly nor is effective monitoring ensured. This review of contract procedures and design allows us to draw several implications for policy-makers and to present suggestions and recommendations for improving regulatory contracts.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/32890/1/MPRA_paper_32890.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 32890.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Infrastructure Systems 4.16(2010): pp. 334-342
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:32890
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Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

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  1. Baldwin, Robert & Cave, Martin, 1999. "Understanding Regulation: Theory, Strategy, and Practice," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774389, March.
  2. Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & Ronald D. Fischer & Alexander Galetovic, 1998. "Least-Present-Value-of-Revenue Auctions and Highway Franchising," NBER Working Papers 6689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eckel, Catherine C & Vining, Aidan R, 1985. "Elements of a Theory of Mixed Enterprise," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 32(1), pages 82-94, February.
  4. Robert D. Willig, 1978. "Pareto-Superior Nonlinear Outlay Schedules," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(1), pages 56-69, Spring.
  5. Patrick Bajari & Stephanie Houghton & Steve Tadelis, 2006. "Bidding for Incomplete Contracts: An Empirical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 12051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Littlechild, S.C., 2001. "Competitive Bidding for a Long-term Electricity Distribution Contract," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0112, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  7. Klein, Michael, 1998. "Bidding for concessions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1957, The World Bank.
  8. Crampes, Claude & Estache, Antonio, 1998. "Regulatory trade-offs in the design of concession contracts," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 1-13, March.
  9. J. Luis Guasch, 2004. "Granting and Renegotiating Infrastructure Concessions : Doing it Right," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15024, December.
  10. G. Bognetti & L. Robotti, 2007. "The Provision Of Local Public Services Through Mixed Enterprises: The Italian Case," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 78(3), pages 415-437, 09.
  11. Boardman, Anthony E & Vining, Aidan R, 1989. "Ownership and Performance in Competitive Environments: A Comparison of the Performance of Private, Mixed, and State-Owned Enterprises," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-33, April.
  12. Frédéric Boehm & Juanita Olaya, 2006. "Corruption In Public Contracting Auctions: The Role Of Transparency In Bidding Processes," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 77(4), pages 431-452, December.
  13. Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, June.
  14. Antonio Estache, 2006. "PPI Partnerships vs. PPI Divorces in LDCs," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 3-26, September.
  15. Alessandro MARRA, 2007. "Internal Regulation By Mixed Enterprises: The Case Of The Italian Water Sector," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 78(2), pages 245-275, 06.
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