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We study how privatization and four variants of private ownership type affect infrastructure performance, focusing on global airports over 25 years. Privatization in general does not improve performance. However, private equity (PE) ownership has strong and persistent positive effects on measures of efficiency, volume, and quality. To address selection, we use close auctions in which both PE and non-PE firms bid. The disparities across ownership types are related to fees charged to airlines, physical capacity expansion, local state capacity, and the presence of a state-owned flag carrier. Overall, PE-owned airports benefit from high-powered incentives and access to capital.

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