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Water, Electricity, and the Poor : Who Benefits from Utility Subsidies?

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Author Info

  • Kristin Komives
  • Vivien Foster
  • Jonathan Halpern
  • Quentin Wodon

Abstract

While consumer utility subsidies are widespread in both the water and electricity sectors, their effectiveness in reaching and distributing resources to the poor is the subject of much debate. This publication brings together empirical evidence on subsidy performance across a wide range of countries. It documents the prevalence of consumer subsidies, provides a typology of the many variants found in the developing world, and presents a number of indicators useful in assessing the degree to which such subsidies benefit the poor, focusing on three key concepts: beneficiary incidence, benefit incidence, and materiality. The findings on subsidy performance will be useful to policy makers, utility regulators, and sector practitioners who are contemplating introducing, eliminating, or modifying utility subsidies, and to those who view consumer utility subsidies as a social protection instrument.

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File URL: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/6361/343340REPLACEM10082136342501PUBLIC1.pdf?sequence=1
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Bibliographic Info

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This book is provided by The World Bank in its series World Bank Publications with number 6361 and published in 2005-10.

ISBN: 0-8213-6342-5
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:6361

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Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
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Web page: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org
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Related research

Keywords: Economic Theory and Research Taxation and Subsidies Water Supply and Sanitation - Town Water Supply and Sanitation Energy - Energy Production and Transportation Macroeconomics and Economic Growth;

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