IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Procurement in infrastructure : what does theory tell us ?


  • Estache, Antonio
  • Iimi, Atsushi
  • Ruzzier, Christian


Infrastructure has particular challenges in public procurement, because it is highly complex and customized and often requires economic, political and social considerations from a long time horizon. To deliver public infrastructure services to citizens or taxpayers, there are a series of decisions that governments have to make. The paper provides a minimum package of important economic theories that could guide governments to wise decision-making at each stage. Theory suggests that in general it would be a good option to contract out infrastructure to the private sector under high-powered incentive mechanisms, such as fixed-price contracts. However, this holds under certain conditions. Theory also shows that ownership should be aligned with the ultimate responsibility for or objective of infrastructure provision. Public and private ownership have different advantages and can deal with different problems. It is also shown that it would be a better option to integrate more than one public task (for example, investment and operation) into the same ownership, whether public or private, if they exhibit positive externalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Estache, Antonio & Iimi, Atsushi & Ruzzier, Christian, 2009. "Procurement in infrastructure : what does theory tell us ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4994, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4994

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. C. Guccio & G. Pignataro & I. Rizzo, 2012. "Determinants of adaptation costs in procurement: an empirical estimation on Italian public works contracts," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(15), pages 1891-1909, May.
    2. repec:eee:hepoli:v:121:y:2017:i:5:p:515-524 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Public Sector Economics&Finance; Debt Markets; Infrastructure Economics; Contract Law; Transport Economics Policy&Planning;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4994. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.