M. Buso, F. Marty et P.T. Tran – Public Private Partnerships from Budget Constraints: Looking for Debt Hiding?
Abstract : In this paper, we first examine whether or not public authorities that experience periods of budget constraints are more tempted to choose Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) instead of Traditional public Procurement mechanisms (TP). Second, we study which possible channels can explain this effect. The analysis is developed within the French context where we investigate the totality of 135 Private Finance Initiative (PFI/CP) contracts signed since 2005.
The empirical test is made of two stages. First, we find a positive impact of budget constraints on the use of PFI/CP. As this impact can be both for debt hiding or alternative reasons, we then study the change of our result when the possibility to underwrite the debt of PPPs has gone in 2011. We find that, even if debt hiding motivations are relevant, they are not sufficient for explaining the budget constrained governments’ aptitude towards PPPs.
Mots Clés : PPP, public private partnership, debt hiding, debt shifting, PFI, budget constraint, contrat de partenariat, partenariat public privé, dette publique, contrainte budgétaire, PPP accounting, comptabilité publique.
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