in cooperation with

Workshop on Economics and Management of Public-Private Partnerships
Will Public-Private Partnerships Improve Our Future?

Venice, September 13-15, 2015


To participate as a listener, go to Registration  and follow the instructions

In the last few decades, public-private partnerships have become prominent organizational schemes for investments and service provision in several countries and areas of public policy (e.g., transport, energy, health-care, education, etc.).

Two main motivations explain this trend: globalization has severely restrained the capacity of traditional public finance to bear the costs of new infrastructures and the widening needs for public services; enhanced innovative capacity and management skills of private partners and more adequate risk- and task-sharing among partners have often been conducive to higher “value for money” of public policies. Major challenges have also arisen. The “institutional complexity” of public-private collaborations may reduce transparency, accountability, and flexibility of policy-making, nourishing short- and long-run risks for taxpayers (e.g., corruption, lack of competition in public procurement, contingent liabilities, etc.). A well-conceived process for the design, assessment, and management of public private partnerships has proven to be the key factor to reach a good balance between their costs and benefits.

The blend of public objectives and private means explains the effectiveness of these collaborations in promoting policy innovation and in projecting it beyond the traditional boundaries of public sector. For these reasons, public private partnerships will probably be crucial in helping governments to face future social and economic challenges, such as reshaping the economic role of the State and support technological and economic change for sustainable growth.

The aim of this workshop is to stimulate debate among academics, promote cross-fertilization among different strands of research in economics and management, disseminate research on these challenging issues, and to foster policy debate among academics and practitioners on the main lessons of the experience of public private partnerships across the world and on the future of such collaborations. The workshop will include presentations of accepted papers, keynote lectures of leading scholars, and a panel discussion among experts from international institutions and academics.

Empirical (i.e., quantitative, qualitative and experimental analyses of data) and theoretical (or conceptual) papers are welcome. A non-exhaustive list of topics and research questions include:

  • public-private collaborations to face future social, economic, and technological challenges: global warming; innovation; growth;
  • institutional complexity: concepts; determinants; dynamics; social, economic, organizational, and financial aspects;
  • the motivations and the roles of private partners in public-private collaborations: balancing agency costs and risk-sharing among partners; banking and financial institutions; how and why firms providing core and non-core services participate in collaborations;
  • the macroeconomics of public-private partnerships: fiscal risks; asset and liability management; fiscal rules and accounting procedures;
  • the political economy of public-private interactions and the quality of policy-making: political cycle; politicians and bureaucrats; corruption; competition in public procurement; performance evaluation;
  • the functioning of public-private interactions: formal and informal partnerships; relational contracts; incentives and contracting.