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Productivity and efficiency in the water industry

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  • Abbott, Malcolm
  • Cohen, Bruce
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    Abstract

    Over the past twenty years there has been increasing interest in the productivity and efficiency of, and the optimal structures for, the water supply and wastewater industries. In part this interest has manifested itself in the increased use of numerous statistical techniques to determine the productivity and efficiency of the water sector in a variety of countries. The purpose of this paper is threefold. First it briefly reviews the various measures that have been used to gauge the levels of productivity and efficiency in the water sector, with particular reference to input and output data requirements of these measures. Second it summarises the key structural findings that have been determined from this research, particularly with respect to economies of scale and scope, public versus private ownership and the impact of regulation. Third, it considers potential areas for potential future research, such as the effect of environmental management activities (including water conservation) and regulation on productivity and efficiency, the role of wastewater as a potential source of potable or 'fit-for-purpose' water and the relationship between water supply and urban planning.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Utilities Policy.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3-4 (September)
    Pages: 233-244

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:juipol:v:17:y:2009:i:3-4:p:233-244

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30478

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    Keywords: Productivity Efficiency Wastewater Water supply;

    References

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    Cited by:
    1. Mallikarjun, Sreekanth & Lewis, Herbert F. & Sexton, Thomas R., 2014. "Operational performance of U.S. public rail transit and implications for public policy," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 74-88.
    2. Herrala, Maila Elina & Huotari, Heikki & Haapasalo, Harri Jouni Olavi, 2012. "Governance of Finnish waterworks – A DEA comparison of selected models," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 64-70.
    3. Carvalho, Pedro & Marques, Rui Cunha & Berg, Sanford, 2011. "A meta-regression analysis of benchmarking studies on water utilities market structure," MPRA Paper 32894, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Abbott, Malcolm & Cohen, Bruce & Wang, Wei Chun, 2012. "The performance of the urban water and wastewater sectors in Australia," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 52-63.
    5. Abbott, Malcolm & Wang, Wei Chun & Cohen, Bruce, 2011. "The long-term reform of the water and wastewater industry: The case of Melbourne in Australia," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 115-122, June.
    6. Romano, Giulia & Guerrini, Andrea, 2011. "Measuring and comparing the efficiency of water utility companies: A data envelopment analysis approach," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 202-209.
    7. Alberto Ruiz-Villaverde & Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo & Francisco González-Gómez, 2013. "The “social choice” of privatising urban water services: a case study of Madrid in Spain," Working Papers 1322, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
    8. Carvalho, Pedro & Marques, Rui Cunha, 2014. "Computing economies of vertical integration, economies of scope and economies of scale using partial frontier nonparametric methods," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 234(1), pages 292-307.
    9. Francisco González-Gómez & Miguel García‐Rubio & Francisco Alcalá-Olid & M. Ortega-Díaz, 2013. "Outsourcing and Efficiency in the Management of Rural Water Services," Water Resources Management, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 731-747, February.
    10. Ferro, Gustavo & Lentini, Emilio J. & Mercadier, Augusto C. & Romero, Carlos A., 2013. "Eficiencia en la prestación de agua y saneamiento y su vinculación con regiones, propiedad e independencia de los prestadores en Brasil
      [Efficiency in water and sanitation providers and its links
      ," MPRA Paper 48247, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Mariotti, Sergio & Nicolini, Marcella & Piscitello, Lucia, 2013. "Vertical linkages between foreign MNEs in service sectors and local manufacturing firms," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 133-145.
    12. Peeter Peda & Giuseppe Grossi & Margo Liik, 2013. "Do ownership and size affect the performance of water utilities? Evidence from Estonian municipalities," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 237-259, May.
    13. Giulia Romano & Andrea Guerrini & Silvia Vernizzi, 2013. "Ownership, Investment Policies and Funding Choices of Italian Water Utilities: An Empirical Analysis," Water Resources Management, Springer, vol. 27(9), pages 3409-3419, July.
    14. Ferro, Gustavo & Lentini, Emilio J. & Mercadier, Augusto C. & Romero, Carlos A., 2014. "Efficiency in Brazil's water and sanitation sector and its relationship with regional provision, property and the independence of operators," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 42-51.

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