Review of Industrial Organization

, Volume 35, Issue 1–2, pp 171–216

Infrastructure Contracts: Trust and Institutional Updating


DOI: 10.1007/s11151-009-9221-4

Cite this article as:
Dassiou, X. & Stern, J. Rev Ind Organ (2009) 35: 171. doi:10.1007/s11151-009-9221-4


This paper discusses trust and trust perceptions in infrastructure contracts and supporting institutions. We focus on perceptions of the trustworthiness of the government purchasers of infrastructure services by the supplying companies and by the governments themselves. In particular, we allow for trust updating and trust misalignments, which may give rise to ‘undertrusting’ and ‘overtrusting’. The core of the paper sets out a game theoretic model of contracts with dynamic adjustment of trust perceptions, which we use to explore the impact of trust misalignment both on economic efficiency (measured by expected welfare) and on investment levels. We explore flexible contracts with and without pre-payments, rigid contracts (which do not allow for post-investment renegotiation), and hybrid contracts. We then compare the efficiency of the flexible contracts to that of hybrid contracts using as a criterion the expected welfare implications of each contract. The model is used to shed light on current issues on the sustainability of private investment infrastructure contracts in developed and in developing countries, including the role of regulatory institutions.


Contracts Infrastructure Institutions Regulation Trust 

JEL Classification

D02 C78 L14 L51 L78 L97 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsCity UniversityNorthampton SquareUK

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