Introduction : the history of European infrastructure finance : an analytical framework
Title: Introduction : the history of European infrastructure finance : an analytical framework
Citation: Youssef CASSIS, Giuseppe DE LUCA and Massimo FLORIO (eds), Infrastructure finance in Europe : insights into the history of water, transport, and telecommunications, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2016, Oxford scholarship online ; Economics and Finance module, pp. 1-37
ISBN: 9780191781841; 9780198713418
How have socio-economic resources been mobilized to pay for public works from the Roman age up to twentieth-century Europe? How have the infrastructure's fundamental mismatch between social costs and benefits been solved? This chapter tries to answer these questions, first by looking at finance in a broad sense, as a set of mechanisms bringing resources to infrastructure; second by focusing on some core factors as technological and organizational change, public and private involvement, national and international drivers. A final taxonomy then outlines the macro-types of infrastructure financing that are analysed in the book, showing clearly how it is impossible to identify a unique pattern of infrastructure finance that always and everywhere is superior in terms of long-term sustainability, growth, and welfare effects. History teaches us that there are no recipes, but only a set of stories that may suggest some analogies to contemporary problems and may represent a way of testing conventional hypotheses.
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