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How to Design Infrastructure Contracts in a Warming World? A Critical Appraisal of Public-Private Partnerships

  • Martimort, David
  • Straub, Stéphane

We analyze how uncertainty regarding future climate conditions affects the design of concession contracts, organizational forms and technological choices in a principal-agent context with dynamic moral hazard, limited liability and irreversibility constraints. The prospect of future, uncertain productivity shocks on the returns on the firm’s effort creates an option value of delaying efforts which exacerbates agency costs. Contracts and organizational forms are drafted to control this cost of delegated flexibility. Our analysis is relevant for infrastructure sectors that are sensitive to changing weather conditions and sheds a pessimistic light on the relevance of Public-Private Partnerships in this context.

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 12-315.

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Date of creation: 11 May 2012
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Publication status: Published in International Economic Review, 2015.
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:25892
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Web page: http://www.tse-fr.eu/

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  1. Schmitz, Patrick W, 2005. "Allocating Control in Agency Problems with Limited Liability and Sequential Hidden Actions," CEPR Discussion Papers 5145, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Boyer, Marcel & Robert, Jacques, 2006. "Organizational inertia and dynamic incentives," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 324-348, March.
  3. Elisabetta Iossa & David Martimort, 2012. "Risk allocation and the costs and benefits of public--private partnerships," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(3), pages 442-474, 09.
  4. Jones, Robert A & Ostroy, Joseph M, 1984. "Flexibility and Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 13-32, January.
  5. Marcel BOYER & Michel MOREAUX, 1989. "Uncertainty, Capacity and Flexibility: the Monopoly Case," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 15-16, pages 291-313.
  6. JOhn Bennett & Elisabetta Iossa, 2005. "Building and Managing Facilities for Public Services," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 05/137, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  7. Ohlendorf, Susanne & Schmitz, Patrick W, 2008. "Repeated Moral Hazard, Limited Liability, and Renegotiation," CEPR Discussion Papers 6725, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Susan Athey & Armin Schmutzler, 1995. "Product and Process Flexibility in an Innovative Environment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 557-574, Winter.
  9. Franck Lecocq & Zmarak Shalizi, 2014. "The economics of targeted mitigation in infrastructure," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 187-208, March.
  10. Howard C. Kunreuther & Erwann O. Michel-Kerjan, 2009. "At War with the Weather: Managing Large-Scale Risks in a New Era of Catastrophes," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262012820, June.
  11. Henry, Claude, 1974. "Investment Decisions Under Uncertainty: The "Irreversibility Effect."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 1006-12, December.
  12. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, June.
  13. Martimort, David & Pouyet, Jérôme, 2006. "'Build It or Not': Normative and Positive Theories of Public-Private Partnerships," CEPR Discussion Papers 5610, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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