Public-Private Partnerships and the Promotion of Collective Entrepreneurship
Mário Rui Silva
Public-private partnerships (PPP) are a recent instrument for social and economic development policies. Within the framework of competitiveness policy, PPP are an adequate instrument to promote collective entrepreneurship. Through this instrument, some market failures can be overcome and a better provision of strategic services can be afforded to firms. Also, PPP can be able to promote co-ordination between public and private partners and lead to specific innovative networks. PPP correspond to a more decentralised policy and they are supposed to increase focus and effectiveness and to involve agencies that are closer to firms and that have a more narrow range of objectives. In this contribution, we analyse the pattern of the so-called partnerships projects, approved between 2000 and the 30th june of 2003 in the framework of the Portuguese Operational Program for the Economy. By using HOMALS and K-means cluster analysis, we were able to characterise PPP and to identify typical clusters for the PPP projects. On one hand, the results show that policy decentralization brought by partnerships has promoted or reinforced a more specialized institutional framework (mainly national, sectoral or regional entrepreneurial associations). But, on the other hand, PPP had a small impact in the promotion of specific networks and/or in innovation. Collective entrepreneurship induced by PPP instrument has presented a clear bias toward the provision of services that have a public or semi-public nature, by the fact that firms that can use these services are in a large number (all the firms of a sub sector or even larger universes). But technological projects and/or projects addressed to specific networks of firms were very few. In particular, the impact of PPP on structural change seems to have been short.
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