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Sovereign Debt and Human Rights$
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Ilias Bantekas and Cephas Lumina

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198810445

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198810445.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 15 June 2021

The Financial and Social Cost of Public–Private Partnerships

The Financial and Social Cost of Public–Private Partnerships

(p.106) 6 The Financial and Social Cost of Public–Private Partnerships
Sovereign Debt and Human Rights

María José Romero

Bodo Ellmers

Oxford University Press

Most of the existing literature on public-private partnerships (PPPs) focuses exclusively on the nature and perceived benefits of PPPs, notably their professed efficiency gains in the provision of public goods and services. However, little attention has been devoted to analyzing one of the main drivers of PPPs, that is, their use by governments to hide public debt—through non-transparent accounting practices—and their consequences. In this chapter, we assess the financial and social costs of PPPs and illustrate their impact on public debt and human rights, drawing on several examples in order to offer some lessons from experience to date. The chapter is organized into four sections. The first examines the definition of PPPs and their main characteristics. The second presents the most recent figures available on PPPs. The third analyzes the rationale behind governments’ choice of PPPs over other forms of infrastructure and service provision, by focusing on off-balance sheet accounting. The fourth section presents a critical assessment of PPPs and their impact on sustainable development.

Keywords:   Public-private partnerships, off-balance sheet accounting, accounting practices, fiscal space, risk transfer, social cost, sustainable development

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