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Efficiency in the management of urban water services. What have we learned after four decades of research?

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Author Info

  • Francisco González Gómez

    ()
    (Universidad de Granada)

  • Miguel Angel García Rubio

    ()
    (Universidad de Granada)

Abstract

The analysis of efficiency in the management of urban water services offers valuable information both for the managers of this service and for public bodies in order to introduce improvements in business practices and in the design of public policies. Since the pioneering study carried out by Ford and Wardford (1969), there have been many attempts to follow this line of research. Due to the importance of the subject and the volume of publications in this field, we believe it is necessary to provide a balance of the work carried out over the last four decades. In this overview, we look at the main questions which have arisen over this period, we provide a synthesis of the results obtained and, finally, we point out some challenges for future research.

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File URL: http://www.ief.es/documentos/recursos/publicaciones/revistas/hac_pub/185_Efficiency.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by IEF in its journal Hacienda Pública Española/Revista de Economía Pública.

Volume (Year): 185 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 39-67

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Handle: RePEc:hpe:journl:y:2008:v:185:i:2:p:39-67

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Related research

Keywords: Water utilities; Efficiency; Firm behaviour; Water;

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References

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  1. Lin, Chen, 2005. "Service quality and prospects for benchmarking: Evidence from the Peru water sector," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 230-239, September.
  2. Thanassoulis, Emmanuel, 2000. "The use of data envelopment analysis in the regulation of UK water utilities: Water distribution," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 436-453, October.
  3. Colin Kirkpatrick & David Parker & Yin-Fang Zhang, 2006. "An Empirical Analysis of State and Private-Sector Provision of Water Services in Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 143-163.
  4. David Saal & David Parker & Tom Weyman-Jones, 2007. "Determining the contribution of technical change, efficiency change and scale change to productivity growth in the privatized English and Welsh water and sewerage industry: 1985–2000," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 127-139, October.
  5. Torres, Marcelo & Morrison Paul, Catherine J., 2006. "Driving forces for consolidation or fragmentation of the US water utility industry: A cost function approach with endogenous output," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 104-120, January.
  6. Ohlsson, H., 1998. "Ownership and Production Costs Choosing Between Public Production and Contracting Out," Papers 1998-6, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  7. NAUGES Céline & VAN DEN BERG Caroline, 2007. "How "natural" are natural monopolies in the water supply and sewerage sector? Case studies from developing and transition economies," LERNA Working Papers 07.05.226, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  8. Teeples, Ronald K & Glyer, David, 1987. "Cost of Water Delivery Systems: Specification and Ownership Effects," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(3), pages 399-408, August.
  9. Johannes Sauer & Klaus Frohberg, 2007. "Allocative efficiency of rural water supply – a globally flexible SGM cost frontier," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 31-40, February.
  10. Andres Picazo-Tadeo & Francisco Saez-Fernandez & Francisco Gonzalez-Gomez, 2009. "The role of environmental factors in water utilities' technical efficiency. Empirical evidence from Spanish companies," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 615-628.
  11. Seroa da Motta, Ronaldo & Moreira, Ajax, 2006. "Efficiency and regulation in the sanitation sector in Brazil," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 185-195, September.
  12. Hunt, Lester C & Lynk, Edward L, 1995. "Privatisation and Efficiency in the UK Water Industry: An Empirical Analysis," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(3), pages 371-88, August.
  13. Vickers, John & Yarrow, George, 1988. "Regulation of privatised firms in Britain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 465-472, March.
  14. David S Saal & David Parker, 2000. "The impact of privatization and regulation on the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales: a translog cost function model," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(6), pages 253-268.
  15. Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo & Francisco Gonz�lez-G�mez & Francisco J. S�ez-Fern�ndez, 2006. "Accounting for operating environments in measuring water utilities’ managerial efficiency," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(6), pages 761-773, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ferro, Gustavo & Lentini, Emilio & Mercadier, Augusto & Romero, Carlos A., 2010. "Retornos a escala en agua y saneamiento: estimaciones para América Latina
    [Returns to scale in water and sanitation: estimates for Latin Amercia]
    ," MPRA Paper 20324, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jan 2010.
  2. Angel Prieto & José L. Zofio & Inmaculada Alvarez, 2009. "Economías de escala, densidad y alcance en la provisión pública de infraestructura básica municipal," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 190(3), pages 59-94, September.
  3. Germà Bel & Xavier Fageda & Melania Mur, 2010. "¿Por qué se privatizan servicios en los municipios (pequeños)? Evidencia empírica sobre residuos sólidos y agua," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 192(1), pages 33-58, March.
  4. Rita Martins & Fernando Coelho & Adelino Fortunato, 2012. "Water losses and hydrographical regions influence on the cost structure of the Portuguese water industry," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 81-94, August.
  5. Francisco Gonzalez-Gomez & Jorge Guardiola & Teresa Garcia-Muñoz, 2009. "The link between water access and subjective well-being: some methods and proposals," ThE Papers 09/02, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Konstantinos Tsagarakis, 2013. "Does Size Matter? Operating Cost Coverage for Water Utilities," Water Resources Management, Springer, vol. 27(5), pages 1551-1562, March.

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