Optimal safety incentives in road concession contracts
Changes in the roles of the government and the private sector in the provision of public services along with budget constraints are resulting in an increasing use of the concession approach for financing and managing roads. In the last few years, many of these contracts set up incentives linked to bonuses to encourage the concessionaire to render a better service to the users. Road safety is one the aspects on the basis of which concessionaires can be rewarded according to their performance. The goal of this paper is to evaluate whether road safety incentives are being defined in the right way nowadays in different European countries and also identify what incentives would need to be implemented to achieve a socially optimal road safety level. To that end, we develop a specific incentive for road concession contracts that encourages companies to achieve the optimal level. We apply this methodology to three case studies of concessions recently awarded in order to determine to what extend the incentives they set up are closer or farther to the optimum.
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