Public–private partnerships in an economist’s eye: a gleam or a beam?
Several disciplines claim interest in the subject of public–private partnerships (PPPs) – including medicine, healthcare, public administration, management, economics, urban studies, accounting, law and others, in no particular order. Academic texts that use ‘public–private partnership’ and simultaneously one of the above discipline names (as a proxy for a subject inclination of the text) grow exponentially and roughly at the same pace across all subjects; see Figure 4.1(a). The interest in this topic among major publishing houses that print academic journals also seems to be roughly equal (Emerald being the only exception) – Figure 4.1(b) shows that the percentage of papers that mention ‘public–private partnership’ steadily grows from the 1980s onwards. All this might give a happy and glamourous picture of a sustained growth in interdisciplinary research on the topic, uniformly covering a variety of perspectives and critical angles.