This paper examines the role of collaborative initiatives in local infrastructure projects. It seeks to establish that cooperation between local governments, utilities, and other stakeholders has the potential of reducing the transaction costs that hinder the early stages of infrastructure investments. Having developed a conceptual model of cooperation between local actors in infrastructure projects (CLAIP), a survey was designed to obtain evidence of the main benefits and costs of collaboration in the construction of local water and transport infrastructure. The findings that emerge from managers’ opinions confirm that one of the main benefits of collaborative initiatives is the opportunity to acquire and transfer know-how in areas of the project containing problems or risks. CLAIP may also prove useful as a means of strengthening project governance, and increasing public acceptance of the facilities involved. Among the respondents, the managers who are most positive about CLAIP are likely to work in small and privately-owned or public-private utilities.
Keywords: Infrastructure investment, transaction costs, cooperation, stakeholders
Jel Code: D74, N54, L97