The Global Production of Transportation Public–Private Partnerships


Around the world, public–private partnerships have become increasingly popular to deliver large‐scale transportation infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, railways, subways, seaports and airports. The aim of this article is to provide a framework to understand the global geography of projects built through this market‐driven procurement model, which have been predominantly concentrated in a small number of developed countries and emerging markets. As is shown, within many countries, a governance and regulatory environment has been established that supports public–private partnerships over other alternative procurement approaches. Nevertheless, the production of public–private partnerships worldwide has been dominated by a relatively small number of highly globalized construction contractors, engineering firms, financiers, accountancies and consultants from developed countries, who have focused their activities in a narrow set of regions. The article concludes by reflecting on the implications of the high level of industry concentration, and emerging trends showing greater involvement from firms from developing countries.