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An Empirical Analysis of State and Private-Sector Provision of Water Services in Africa

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  • Colin Kirkpatrick
  • David Parker
  • Yin-Fang Zhang

Abstract

Under pressure from donor agencies and international financial institutions such as the World Bank, some developing countries have experimented with the privatization of water services. This article reviews the econometric evidence on the effects of water privatization in developing economies and presents new results using statistical data envelopment analysis and stochastic cost frontier techniques and data from Africa. The analysis fails to show evidence of better performance by private utilities than by state-owned utilities. Among the reasons why water privatization could prove problematic in lower-income economies are the technology of water provision and the nature of the product, transaction costs, and regulatory weaknesses. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal The World Bank Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 20 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 143-163

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:20:y:2006:i:1:p:143-163

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Cited by:
  1. Francisco González Gómez & Miguel Angel García Rubio, 2008. "Efficiency in the management of urban water services. What have we learned after four decades of research?," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 185(2), pages 39-67, July.
  2. Miguel A. García-Rubio & Francisco González-Gómez & Jorge Guardiola, 2009. "Performance and ownership in the governance of urban water," FEG Working Paper Series 09/03, Faculty of Economics and Business (University of Granada).
  3. Estache, Antonio & Goicoechea, Ana & Trujillo, Lourdes, 2009. "Utilities reforms and corruption in developing countries," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 191-202, June.
  4. 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.
  5. Parker, David & Kirkpatrick, Colin & Figueira-Theodorakopoulou, Catarina, 2005. "Infrastructure Regulation and Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries: A Review of the Evidence and a Research Agenda," Centre on Regulation and Competition (CRC) Working papers 30608, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM).
  6. Ferro, Gustavo & Romero, Carlos A. & Covelli, María Paula, 2011. "Regulation and performance: A production frontier estimate for the Latin American water and sanitation sector," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 211-217.
  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. Granados, Claudia & Sánchez, Fabio, 2014. "Water Reforms, Decentralization and Child Mortality in Colombia, 1990–2005," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 68-79.
  9. 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.
  10. Picazo-Tadeo, Andres J. & Saez-Fernandez, Francisco J. & Gonzalez-Gomez, Francisco, 2008. "Does service quality matter in measuring the performance of water utilities," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 30-38, March.
  11. Antonio Estache & Emili Grifell-Tatjé, 2010. "Assessing the impact of Mali's water privatization across stakeholders," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2010-037, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Cuadrado-Ballesteros, Beatriz & García-Sánchez, Isabel-María & Prado-Lorenzo, José-Manuel, 2013. "Effect of modes of public services delivery on the efficiency of local governments: A two-stage approach," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 23-35.
  13. Lee, Cassey, 2011. "Privatization, water access and affordability: Evidence from Malaysian household expenditure data," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 2121-2128, September.
  14. Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo & Francisco J. Sáez-Fernández & Francisco González-Gómez, 2007. "Does Service Quality Matter In Measuring Performance Of Water Utilities?," FEG Working Paper Series 07/04, Faculty of Economics and Business (University of Granada).
  15. Antonio Estache & L. Wren-Lewis, 2008. "Towards a Theory of Regulation for Developing Countries: Following Laffont's Lead," Working Papers ECARES 2008_018, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  16. Bakker, Karen & Kooy, Michelle & Shofiani, Nur Endah & Martijn, Ernst-Jan, 2008. "Governance Failure: Rethinking the Institutional Dimensions of Urban Water Supply to Poor Households," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1891-1915, October.
  17. Wang, Hongwei & Wu, Wenqing & Zheng, Shilin, 2011. "An econometric analysis of private sector participation in China’s urban water supply," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 134-141.

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