Vol 3, No 1 (Published)

Table of Contents

Open Access
Article
Article ID: 1082
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by Minsoo Lee, Xuehui Han, Raymond Gaspar, Emmanuel Alano
J. Infras. Policy. Dev. 2019 , 3(1);    1810 Views
Abstract The provision of infrastructure and related services in developing Asia via public–private partnership (PPP) increased rapidly during the late 1990s. Theoretical arguments support the potential economic benefits of PPPs, but empirical evidence is thin. This paper develops a framework identifying channels through which economic gains can be derived from PPP arrangement. The framework helps derive an empirically tractable specification that examines how PPPs affect the aggregate economy. Empirical results suggest that increasing the ratio of PPP investment to GDP improves access to and quality of infrastructure services, and economic growth will potentially be higher. But this optimism is conditional, especially on the region’s efforts to further upgrade its technical and institutional capacity to handle complex PPP contracts.
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Open Access
Article
Article ID: 1083
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by Sharmila Devadas, Steven Pennings
J. Infras. Policy. Dev. 2019 , 3(1);    1774 Views
Abstract To analyze the effect of an increase in the quantity or quality of public investment on growth, this paper extends the World Bank’s Long-Term Growth Model (LTGM), by separating the total capital stock into public and private portions, with the former adjusted for its quality. The paper presents the LTGM public capital extension and accompanying freely downloadable Excel-based tool. It also constructs a new infrastructure efficiency index, by combining quality indicators for power, roads, and water as a cardinal measure of the quality of public capital in each country. In the model, public investment generates a larger boost to growth if existing stocks of public capital are low, or if public capital is particularly important in the production function. Through the lens of the model and utilizing newly-collated cross-country data, the paper presents three stylized facts and some related policy implications. First, the measured public capital stock is roughly constant as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) across income groups, which implies that the returns to new public investment, and its effect on growth, are roughly constant across development levels. Second, developing countries are relatively short of private capital, which means that private investment provides the largest boost to growth in low-income countries. Third, low-income countries have the lowest quality of public capital and the lowest efficient public capital stock as a share of GDP. Although this does not affect the returns to public investment, it means that improving the efficiency of public investment has a sizable effect on growth in low-income countries. Quantitatively, a permanent 1 ppt GDP increase in public investment boosts growth by around 0.1–0.2 ppts over the following few years (depending on the parameters), with the effect declining over time.
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Open Access
Article
Article ID: 1084
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by Darwin Marcelo, R. Schuyler House, Cledan Mandri-Perrott, Jordan Z. Schwartz
J. Infras. Policy. Dev. 2019 , 3(1);    1360 Views
Abstract Learning from experience to improve future infrastructure public-private partnerships is a focal issue for policy makers, financiers, implementers, and private sector stakeholders. An extensive body of case studies and “lessons learned” aims to improve the likelihood of success and attempts to avoid future contract failures across sectors and geographies. This paper examines whether countries do, indeed, learn from experience to improve the probability of success of public-private partnerships at the national level. The purview of the paper is not to diagnose learning across all aspects of public-private partnerships globally, but rather to focus on whether experience has an effect on the most extreme cases of public-private partnership contract failure, premature contract cancellation. The analysis utilizes mixed-effects probit regression combined with spline models to test empirically whether general public-private partnership experience has an impact on reducing the chances of contract cancellation for future projects. The results confirm what the market intuitively knows, that is, that public-private partnership experience reduces the likelihood of contract cancellation. But the results also provide a perhaps less intuitive finding: the benefits of learning are typically concentrated in the first few public-private partnership deals. Moreover, the results show that the probability of cancellation varies across sectors and suggests the relative complexity of water public-private partnerships compared with energy and transport projects. An estimated $1.5 billion per year could have been saved with interventions and support to reduce cancellations in less experienced countries (those with fewer than 23 prior public-private partnerships).
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Open Access
Article
Article ID: 1086
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by Stephane Straub, Marianne Fay
J. Infras. Policy. Dev. 2019 , 3(1);    1483 Views
Abstract The question of infrastructure needs is a crucial policy one in Latin America, given evidence of large access shortfalls across all major types of infrastructure, and the increase in demand linked to the rapid growth in households’ income over the past two decades. However, how much and how fast countries should invest in each of the main infrastructure areas are largely speculative, as to date, literature on investment needs has relied exclusively on aggregate data and cross-country regressions, ignoring both potential policy and supply-side differences across settings, and variations in demand along the income distribution. This paper addresses these shortcomings, providing building blocks to better assess infrastructure investment needs across the region. It does so documenting access to services and ownership of infrastructure-related durables in the water, energy, telecom, and transport areas, based on harmonized household survey data covering 1.6 million households in 14 Latin American countries from 1992 to –2012. It provides a systematic disaggregation of access and ownership rates at different levels of income and over time, and econometrically derives the country infrastructure premium, a measure of how much a household benefits from simply being located in a given country. Within countries, the results show extensive inequality of access across the income distribution, but this is also the case for households at similar levels of income across countries. Few country fundamentals appear to be significant in explaining this variability, pointing to differences in policy choices and local constraints as important determinants. The paper derives disaggregated income elasticity measures for the full set of infrastructure indicators and uses these to estimate the time that would be needed to close the remaining gap for households at different levels of the income distribution in each country under a “business as usual” hypothesis. Under that scenario, universal access appears to still be decades away for many countries in the region. The last part discusses the policy challenges, arguing that in a context in which public budgets face strong constraints and significant increases in private investment are unlikely to be forthcoming, a large part of the solution lies in refocused investment strategies, better demand management, and improved public spending efficiency.
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Open Access
Article
Article ID: 1118
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by Chun-Lin Liu, Jeslin Quek
J. Infras. Policy. Dev. 2019 , 3(1);    2263 Views
Abstract Embassies are important buildings, involving the diplomatic image of a country’s government in another foreign country. Given the rising tensions between countries, either political, economic, religion or war, attacks on embassies have been increasing in recent years. Thus, it is evident that appropriate measures are to be taken to reduce the potential impact of an attack. The paper discusses the measures in enhancing building security of embassies. The principles for Security Planning and Design are discussed, followed by an introduction to a systematic security risk assessment framework. The framework is evaluated regarding the potential security risk posed by an attack against elements of the mega infrastructure using explosives. Further options to increase the security of embassies are also explored to reduce the risk of a potential attack. A security-enhanced building, planned and constructed well to specifications, can provide benefits to the client, including greater cost advantage and increase of value for the structure.
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Open Access
Article
Article ID: 1116
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by Tomoo Kikuchi, Sayaka Unzaki
J. Infras. Policy. Dev. 2019 , 3(1);    2046 Views
Abstract Japan’s investment in the domestic construction industry has fallen to less than half its peak in 1992. Given the country’s declining population, Japanese construction companies must go global to remain profitable. To what extent the Japanese government and Japanese companies can contribute to meeting the growing infrastructure needs in the region is unclear as Japanese companies have long been operating primarily in Japan. The Japanese government has in recent years passed a series of new laws that encourage private sector participation in financing, building and operating public infrastructure. Through involvement in such public projects, Japanese companies have developed the skills and technologies to build a variety of infrastructures that are resilient to natural disasters and adaptable to various geographical conditions and social and economic development. But the major challenge for Japanese companies is to transform their business model drastically from one that relies on the domestic market to one that contributes to the social and economic development of third countries.
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Open Access
Article
Article ID: 1123
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by John Hurley, Scott Morris, Gailyn Portelance
J. Infras. Policy. Dev. 2019 , 3(1);    23064 Views
Abstract China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) hopes to deliver trillions of dollars in infrastructure financing to Asia, Europe, and Africa. If the initiative follows Chinese practices to date for infrastructure financing, which often entail lending to sovereign borrowers, then BRI raises the risk of debt distress in some borrower countries. This paper assesses the likelihood of debt problems in the 68 countries identified as potential BRI borrowers. We conclude that eight countries are at particular risk of debt distress based on an identified pipeline of project lending associated with BRI. Because this indebtedness also suggests a higher concentration in debt owed to official and quasi-official Chinese creditors, we examine Chinese policies and practices related to sustainable financing and the management of debt problems in borrower countries. Based on this evidence, we offer recommendations to improve Chinese policy in these areas. The recommendations are offered to Chinese policymakers directly, as well as to BRI’s bilateral and multilateral partners, including the IMF and World Bank.  
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Open Access
Case Report
Article ID: 1117
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by Muhammad Khudadad Chattha, Mustafa Sayed
J. Infras. Policy. Dev. 2019 , 3(1);    2448 Views
Abstract The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been one of the most prominent components of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Most of the discussion on CPEC has centered around the macroeconomic effects on the economy. However, research on the fine details of CPEC’s financing structure has not been conducted. This paper aims to fill the gap by providing a detailed description of the financing of CPEC and how the money maps on to different sectors of the Pakistani economy. We also discuss some macroeconomic concerns and ways to mitigate these risks.
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