Do Public-Private-Partnership-Enabling Laws Increase Private Investment in Transportation Infrastructure?

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The use of public-private partnerships (PPPs) is an important development in infrastructure delivery. These contracts between a public-sector owner and a private provider bundle delivery services and provide a middle ground between traditional delivery and privatization. As of 2016, 35 states had enacted PPP-enabling laws that address such questions as the mixing of public- and private-sector funds, the treatment of unsolicited PPP proposals, and the need for prior legislative contract approval. We provide the first comprehensive empirical assessment of the laws’ impact on the utilization of private investment. We analyze the effect of a state having a PPP-enabling law and a law’s average impact. We also assess the impact of PPP-enabling-law provisions. We find that provisions that empower PPPs, such as exemptions from property taxes, exemptions from extant procurement laws, and confidentiality protections, attract private investment.

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