Infrastructure Privatization in The New Millennium

Ellen Dannin and Lee Cokorinos

in The Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government Finance

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199765362
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Infrastructure Privatization in The New Millennium

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  • Economics
  • Public Economics
  • Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics


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This article examines an alternative means of obtaining infrastructure funding, which consists of various techniques that involve private ownership and the operation of public-use facilities. It focuses on highway projects, which constitute a major area for privatization proposals and can involve large-scale projects. After recounting many of the technical and contractual issues that are entailed in the private provision of infrastructure and reviewing the results of large deals done thus far, the article notes that privatization has been around in the United States for a short time, but long enough to raise some important policy issues. Infrastructure privatization has been seen as a novel innovation in financing, building, operating, and maintaining infrastructure. However, the revenue-guarantee measures used to protect investors can be contrary to the public interest.

Keywords: infrastructure privatization; infrastructure funding; private ownership; private operation; public-use facilities; highway projects

Article.  12375 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Public Economics ; Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics

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