Does the political and economic context influence the success of a transport project? An analysis of transport public-private partnerships

The construction and provision of infrastructure services such as transport nowadays is often based on a partnership between three main actors: public sector, private sector and multilateral lenders, under a framework of Public–Private Partnerships (PPPs). This type of partnership has been employed in a wide range of projects in the transport sector and in various contexts in developing and developed countries. Given this observation, the objective of this paper is to examine how countries’ economic and political characteristics contribute to the success of PPPs in transport investments. Special focus in the analysis is given to how the perception of corruption and democratic accountability may influence the success of a PPP project in different transport sectors. We examine a database with 856 transport PPP projects using a generalized linear model in the form of a logit model in order to evaluate the transport database covering data from 72 countries, classified in six regions. The study highlights the importance of national experience. Not only does national macroeconomic experience appear to have a relevant role, but so also does its past experience (either positive or negative) of transport PPP projects. An interesting finding from the analysis is the importance of the rest of the world’s perception of a country’s level of corruption and democratic accountability for the final outcome of a PPP project.