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The economics of infrastructure finance: Public-Private Partnerships versus public provision


  • Engel, Eduardo

    () (Yale University)

  • Fischer, Ronald

    () (University of Chile)

  • Galetovic, Alexander

    () (Universidad de los Andes, Chile)


We examine the economics of infrastructure finance, focusing on public provision and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). We show that project finance is appropriate for PPP projects, because there are few economies of scope and because assets are project specific. Furthermore, we suggest that the higher cost of finance of PPPs is not an argument in favour of public provision, since it appears to reflect the combination of deficient contract design and the cost-cutting incentives embedded in PPPs. Thus, in the case of a correctly designed PPP contract, the higher cost of capital may be the price to pay for the efficiency advantages of PPPs. We also examine the role of government activities in PPP financing (e.g. revenue guarantees, renegotiations) and their consequences. Finally, we discuss how to include PPPs revenue guarantees and the results of PPP contract negotiation in the government balance sheet.

Suggested Citation

  • Engel, Eduardo & Fischer, Ronald & Galetovic, Alexander, 2010. "The economics of infrastructure finance: Public-Private Partnerships versus public provision," EIB Papers 2/2010, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:eibpap:2010_002

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Douglas Sutherland & Sonia Araujo & Balázs Égert & Tomasz Koźluk, 2009. "Infrastructure Investment: Links to Growth and the Role of Public Policies," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 686, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Moore & Stéphane Straub & Jean-Jacques Dethier, 2014. "Regulation, renegotiation and capital structure: theory and evidence from Latin American transport concessions," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 209-232, April.
    2. Julie de Brux & Frederic Marty, 2014. "IPPP Risks and opportunities an economic perspective," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2014-11, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    3. repec:bla:jemstr:v:26:y:2017:i:3:p:636-660 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Hong, Cheng-Yih & Li, Jian-Fa, 2015. "On measuring the effects of fiscal policy in global financial crisis: Evidences from an export-oriented island economy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 412-415.
    5. Vivek Rao, 2015. "Developing the Financial Sector and Expanding Market Instruments to Support a Post-2015 Development Agenda in Asia and the Pacific," Working Papers id:6632, eSocialSciences.
    6. Byoun, Soku & Xu, Zhaoxia, 2014. "Contracts, governance, and country risk in project finance: Theory and evidence," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 124-144.
    7. Chambouleyron, Andrés, 2014. "Mitigating expropriation risk through vertical separation of public utilities: The case of Argentina," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 41-52.
    8. David Martimort & Flavio Menezes & Myrna Wooders & LUCIANO GRECO, 2015. "Imperfect Bundling in Public–Private Partnerships," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(1), pages 136-146, February.
    9. David Martimort & Flavio Menezes & Myrna Wooders & DANIEL DANAU & ANNALISA VINELLA, 2015. "Public-Private Contracting under Limited Commitment," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(1), pages 78-110, February.
    10. Luciano Greco, 2012. "Imperfect Bundling In Public-Private Partnerships," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0147, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    11. Park, Cyn-Young & Mercado, Rogelio, 2015. "Financial Inclusion, Poverty, and Income Inequality in Developing Asia," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 426, Asian Development Bank.
    12. Dimitriou , Dimitrios J., 2018. "Economic impact and project financing equilibrium to assess large transport infrastructure projects," Working Papers 18_2, SIET Società Italiana di Economia dei Trasporti e della Logistica.
    13. Pekka Leviakangas & Pekka Kess & Jaakko Kujala, 2013. "Investment Analysis in Public-Private-Partnership Projects: Any Common Ground for Public and Private Investors?," Diversity, Technology, and Innovation for Operational Competitiveness: Proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Technology Innovation and Industrial Management, ToKnowPress.
    14. Emily Poole & Carl Toohey & Peter Harris, 2014. "Public Infrastructure: A Framework for Decision-making," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Alexandra Heath & Matthew Read (ed.), Financial Flows and Infrastructure Financing Reserve Bank of Australia.
    15. Lin, Justin Yifu, 2013. "Global infrastructure initiative and global recovery," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 400-411.
    16. Daniel Danau & Annalisa Vinella, 2017. "From fixed to state-dependent duration in public-private partnerships," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(3), pages 636-660, September.
    17. Wouter Thierie & Lieven Moor, 2016. "The characteristics of infrastructure as an investment class," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 30(3), pages 277-297, August.
    18. Marco Buso, 2014. "Public-Private Partnership: Information Externality in Sequential Investments," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0176, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    19. Oliveira, Matheus & Ribeiro, Joana & Macário, Rosário, 2016. "Are we planning investments to fail? Consequences of traffic forecast effects on PPP contracts: Portuguese and Brazilian cases," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 167-174.
    20. Torsten Ehlers & Frank Packer & Eli Remolona, 2014. "Infrastructure and Corporate Bond Markets in Asia," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Alexandra Heath & Matthew Read (ed.), Financial Flows and Infrastructure Financing Reserve Bank of Australia.
    21. Elisa Van Waeyenberge, 2016. "The private turn in development finance," Working papers wpaper140, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.

    More about this item


    Fiscal accounting; PPP premium; Project finance; Renegotiations; Revenue guarantees; Special Purpose Vehicule;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning

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