Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The role of regulation in financing transport infrastructures in Italy

Beria, Paolo and Ponti, Marco (2008): The role of regulation in financing transport infrastructures in Italy.

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Abstract

The paper discusses the present regulatory framework in Italy concerning transport infrastructures financing and provides some policy indications. The Italian situation is characterised by non homogeneity among the transport modes and insufficient, or even perverse, incentives to efficiency. Also, the norms promote the tendency to overinvestment and “gold plating” because applied within a weak planning framework. After a theoretical introduction to the financing mechanisms (public funding, PPP, price cap, etc.), the paper is structured by modes. For each infrastructure type (national roads, highways, railways, ports and airports), the most common funding practices are commented, underlining their characteristics, limits and implications. National roads and railways are financed by general budget on the basis of a planning activity usually carried by the agent itself. Conversely, highways, airports and ports are partially financed by fares under conditions of legal monopoly granted by concessions. However, the formulas for fares determination are questionable and sometimes provide incentives to overinvestment. The last section will provide recommendations for a more efficient regulation.

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