Regulation as Partnership


This article uses recent literature on Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) to argue that “Regulation as Partnership” is often a more productive approach to regulation than the more common adversarial and transactional approaches common to the contemporary regulatory environment. Partnerships, in which public entities engage the private sector to serve some government purpose (often to construct infrastructure) in exchange to some ownership interest derived from that purpose, have become popular since the 1980s. They are most often thought of as an alternative vehicle for financing public projects. But they primarily operate (and are most effective when) by aligning the incentives between the public and private project participants. This alignment of incentives stands in stark contrast to the often adversarial and transactional approach to much regulation – with regulation of the tech sector highlighted as an example in this article.