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Public-private partnerships: contract design and risk transfer

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  • Mathias Dewatripont
  • Patrick Legros

Abstract

This paper critically assesses the implications of contract design and risk transfer on the provision of public services under public-private partnerships (PPPs). Two results stand out. First, the alleged strength of PPPs in delivering infrastructure projects on budget more often than traditional public procurement could be illusory. This is - to put it simply - because there are costs of avoiding cost overruns and, indeed, cost overruns can be viewed as equilibrium phenomena. Second, the use of external (i.e., third-party) finance in PPPs, while bringing discipline to project appraisal and implementation, implies that part of the return on efforts exerted by the private-sector partner accrues to outside investors; this may undo whatever beneficial effects arise from "bundling" the construction and operation of infrastructure projects, which is a hallmark of PPPs.
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Suggested Citation

  • Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Legros, 2005. "Public-private partnerships: contract design and risk transfer," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/175947, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/175947
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Juan José Ganuza, 2003. "Competition and cost overruns in procurement," Economics Working Papers 772, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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