Performance of Public–Private Partnerships and the Influence of Contractual Arrangements

Yin Wang, Zhirong J Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This article seeks to answer two research questions: does public-private partnerships (ppp) live up to its promises to government? How do contractual arrangements affect ppp performance? We propose a conceptual framework to evaluate ppp performance by comparing actual project outcomes to government goals in initiating the partnerships, and to explore how a set of contractual arrangements affect the ppp performance on each identified goal. The framework is applied to a comparative case analysis of highway ppp experiences in the commonwealth of virginia (us) since the 1990s. The results show that these ppp cases were successful in accessing innovative finance, but their performance was mixed on reducing construction risk and transferring revenue risk. Generally improved over time with later projects, the ppp performance was affected not only by interaction among contractual arrangements –private partner selection, financial arrangements, role division, risk allocation, and project characteristics–but also by authorizing and supportive legislation in the policy domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-200
Number of pages24
JournalPublic Performance and Management Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018


  • contractual arrangements
  • highway development
  • performance evaluation
  • public-private partnerships

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