Case Study (Public-Private Partnerships)



Credits / Language / Semester

2Credits / English / Summer


We have seen a renewed wave of infrastructure finance called "Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs)" over the past decade. This trend appears to be a revival of the previous wave of private infrastructure initiatives in the 1990s. The key motivation for PPPs is to seek efficiency gains as well as to fill public sector funding gaps through private sector participation.
The core task of structuring a PPP project is to reconcile the interests of various parties from the private and public sectors. These parties include investors, lenders, and contractors on the private sector side and the government and other related entities on the public sector side.
PPPs, while sounding promising, are in reality very complex and most likely costly. Risk allocations are challenging because of the public nature of infrastructure services provision and inherent uncertainties over the long term. There is even such a perception as PPPs being in favor of “private profit at the public’s expense” although this view may be somewhat extreme.
Difficulties also arise from the different attitudes of investors, the government and lenders, as well as the general public. PPPs are equipped with a very commercial and contractual structure and operational modalities, but at the same time are extremely political, especially in the implementation stage. PPPs are clearly not a panacea despite their potential gains and advantages.
This course has a particular goal to provide students with the basic knowledge of PPPs as a framework for infrastructure development and public services provision in developing, emerging and advanced economies. Also, this course is intended to help prepare students for future positions responsible for infrastructure development and public services provision, in both the public and private sectors, where financial sector perspectives are also required.


government contingent liabilities, infrastructure, PFI, PPPs, project finance, public services, risk management


This case study will focus on PPPs as a framework for infrastructure development and public services provision. It covers a review of the underlying concept of PPPs (theory), challenges often encountered in implementing PPPs (practice), and actual project examples. Issues on risk-sharing, financing, accountability and government contingent liabilities management are covered.
Day 1 Introduction
Day 2 Financing
Day 3 Risk management
Day 4 Government contingent liabilities
Day 5 Legal aspects
Day 6 Mid-term presentation
Day 7 For and against PPPs
Day 8 Cases
Day 9 Mid-term consultation on group work
Day 10 Cases
Day 11 Cases
Day 12 Discussion on particular issues
Day 13 Discussion on particular issues
Day 14 Final presentation
Day 15 Final presentation

Teaching Methods

This course will be conducted as a seminar with introductory lecture followed by class discussion. Active participation in discussion based on student different backgrounds, life-experience, knowledge, skills, and reading of assigned materials is expected. The working language is English.
Guest speakers will be invited to discuss specific issues from various perspectives and/or based on different fields of professional expertise.
Students are required to make presentations at least twice on a topic of his/her interest either individually or as a team depending on the total number of registered students. Each student is also required to submit reports based on the presentations in the middle and at the end of the course.


The course grade will be based on:
Presentations 35% (10% for mid-term and 25% for final)
Individual reports 35% (10% for mid-term and 25% for final)
Class attendance and participation 30%

Required Textbooks


Reference Books

Required readings, mainly excerpts taken from the following materials, will be either made available on the student bulletin board or handed out in class.
ADB and KDI. 2011. Public-Private Partnership Infrastructure Projects: Case Studies from the Republic of Korea.
Akintoye, Akintola, Matthias Beck, and Cliff Hardcastle, eds. 2003. Public-Private Partnerships: Managing Risks and Opportunities. Oxford: Blackwell.
Delmon, Jeffrey. 2011. Public-Private Partnership Projects in Infrastructure: An Essential Guide for Policy Makers. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Grimsey, Darrin, and Mervyn K. Lewis. 2004. Public Private Partnerships: The Worldwide Revolution in Infrastructure Provision and Project Finance. Cheltenham and Northampton: Edward Elgar.
Nishizawa, Toshiro. 2011. "Changes in Development Finance in Asia: Trends, Challenges, and Policy Implications." Asian Economic Policy Review. Volume 6, Issue 2 (December).
PPIAF and the World Bank. 2011. How to Engage with the Private Sector in Public-Private Partnerships in Emerging Markets.
Schwartz, Gerd, Ana Corbacho, and Katja Funke, eds. 2008. Public Investment and Public-Private Partnerships: Addressing Infrastructure Challenges and Managing Fiscal Risks. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Victor, David, and Thomas C. Heller, eds. 2008. The Political Economy of Power Sector Reform: The Experiences of Five Major Developing Countries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Weber, Barbara, and Hans W. Alfen. 2010. Infrastructure as an Asset Class: Investment Strategies, Project Finance and PPP. West Sussex: John Wiley&Sons.
Yescombe, E.R. 2007. Public-Private Partnerships: Principles of Policy and Finance. Burlington and Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

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