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The Economics of Infrastructure Provisioning: The (Changing) Role of the State

Arnold Picot, Massimo Florio, Nico Grove and Johann Kranz

Keynote Speakers:
Michael G. Pollitt, University of Cambridge
Hugh Goldsmith, European Investment Bank, Luxembourg
Stéphane Straub, Toulouse School of Economics

Date: 26 - 27 July 2013

Within the next decade several physical key infrastructures (e.g., telecommunications, transport, energy, water supply, and urban infrastructure) need to be modernised or newly built to sustain and enhance economic development and societal living conditions. Rolling-out new or modernizing and maintaining legacy infrastructure involves substantial investments.

Hitherto financing and provisioning infrastructure has been organised in many different ways from being managed by fully private to fully public institutions. In the light of large fiscal deficits in the EU and the US and the instability of financial markets, most governments are forced to implement severe austerity measures which leave little scope for necessary infrastructure investments which in turn are essential for economic development and growth.

Thus, the conference aims at giving insights into new infrastructure provisioning models from different perspectives such as financing, regulation, and social policy. This goes along with looking at the challenge of public and private engagement in public infrastructure provisioning as well as with an identification and exploration of global best practice examples for infrastructure provisioning that provide lessons learnt for contemporary discussions on how to efficiently provide infrastructure.

Among the main questions to be addressed are
• Financing new infrastructures in the international debt and post-financial crisis era
• Global comparison of different infrastructure roll-out and maintenance approaches including
   historical analysis
• Analysing regulatory barriers to collaboration in (public and private) infrastructure provisioning
   (e.g., competition and anti-trust law, regulation, security)
• Regulation, investment incentives, and technological change
• Balancing between competitive and regulated infrastructure roll-out approaches
• Access regulation, net neutrality and the deployment of next generation networks in
• Regulation approaches for sustainable and efficient (smart) energy supply systems in the light of
   incentive regulation, decoupling, diffusion of renewable energies, and dynamic pricing


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