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Demand for Piped and Non-piped Water Supply Services: Evidence from Southwest Sri Lanka

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  • Céline Nauges

    ()

  • Caroline Berg

    ()

Abstract

In many countries water supply is a service that is seriously underpriced, especially for residential consumers. This has led to a call for setting cost recovery policies to ensure that the tariffs charged for water supply cover the full cost of service provision. Identification of factors driving piped and non-piped water demand is a necessary prerequisite for predicting how consumers will react to such price increases. Using cross-sectional data of 1,800 households from Southwest Sri Lanka, we estimate water demand functions for piped and non-piped households using appropriate econometric techniques. The (marginal) price elasticity is estimated at − 0.15 for households exclusively relying on piped water, and at − 0.37 for households using piped water but supplementing their supply with other water sources. The time cost elasticity for households relying on non-piped water only is estimated at − 0.06 on average, but varying across sources. For both piped and non-piped households, we find evidence of substitutability between water from different sources. We discuss the implications of these results in terms of pricing policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 535-549

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:42:y:2009:i:4:p:535-549

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

Related research

Keywords: Demand estimation; Household water use; Piped and non-piped water services; Price elasticity; Pricing policy; Sri Lanka;

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References

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  1. Pattanayak, Subhrendu K. & van den Berg, Caroline & Yang, Jui-Chen & Van Houtven, George, 2006. "The use of willingness to pay experiments : estimating demand for piped water connections in Sri Lanka," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3818, The World Bank.
  2. Michael L. Nieswiadomy & David J. Molina, 1989. "Comparing Residential Water Demand Estimates under Decreasing and Increasing Block Rates Using Household Data," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(3), pages 280-289.
  3. J. Scott Shonkwiler & Steven T. Yen, 1999. "Two-Step Estimation of a Censored System of Equations," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(4), pages 972-982.
  4. Jasper M. Dalhuisen & Raymond J. G. M. Florax & JHenri L. F. de Groot & Peter Nijkamp, 2003. "Price and Income Elasticities of Residential Water Demand: A Meta-Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(2), pages 292-308.
  5. Sheila Olmstead & W. Michael Hanemann & Robert N. Stavins, 2007. "Water Demand Under Alternative Price Structures," NBER Working Papers 13573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Whittington, Dale, et al, 1990. "Estimating the Willingness to Pay for Water Services in Developing Countries: A Case Study of the Use of Contingent Valuation Surveys in Southern Haiti," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 293-311, January.
  7. Arbues, Fernando & Garcia-Valinas, Maria Angeles & Martinez-Espineira, Roberto, 2003. "Estimation of residential water demand: a state-of-the-art review," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 81-102, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sidibé, Amadou, 2010. "Demand for soil, water and forest conservation in Burkina Faso," Department of Forest Economics publications 2345, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of forest economics.
  2. Caroline Berg & Céline Nauges, 2012. "The willingness to pay for access to piped water: a hedonic analysis of house prices in Southwest Sri Lanka," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 151-166, October.
  3. Céline Nauges & Dale Whittington, 2010. "Estimation of Water Demand in Developing Countries: An Overview," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 25(2), pages 263-294, August.
  4. Henrique Monteiro, 2010. "Residential Water Demand in Portugal: checking for efficiency-based justifications for increasing block tariffs," Working Papers Series 1 ercwp0110, ISCTE-IUL, Business Research Unit (BRU-IUL).
  5. Costolanski, Peter & Elahi, Raihan & Iimi, Atsushi & Kitchlu, Rahul, 2013. "Impact evaluation of free-of-charge CFL bulb distribution in Ethiopia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6383, The World Bank.

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