Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Comparing Price and Non-price Approaches to Urban Water Conservation

Contents:

Author Info

  • Sheila M. Olmstead

    (Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies)

  • Robert N. Stavins

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

Urban water conservation is typically achieved through prescriptive regulations, including the rationing of water for particular uses and requirements for the installation of particular technologies. A significant shift has occurred in pollution control regulations toward market-based policies in recent decades. We offer an analysis of the relative merits of market-based and prescriptive approaches to water conservation, where prices have rarely been used to allocate scarce supplies. The analysis emphasizes the emerging theoretical and empirical evidence that using prices to manage water demand is more cost-effective than implementing non-price conservation programs, similar to results for pollution control in earlier decades. Price-based approaches also have advantages in terms of monitoring and enforcement. In terms of predictability and equity, neither policy instrument has an inherent advantage over the other. As in any policy context, political considerations are important.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.feem.it/userfiles/attach/Publication/NDL2008/NDL2008-066.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2008.66.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2008.66

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Corso Magenta, 63 - 20123 Milan
Phone: 0039-2-52036934
Fax: 0039-2-52036946
Email:
Web page: http://www.feem.it/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Cost-effectiveness; Water Conservation; Market-based Approaches; Policy Instrument Choice; Water Price;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Newell, Richard G & Stavins, Robert N, 2003. "Cost Heterogeneity and the Potential Savings from Market-Based Policies," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 43-59, January.
  2. Hugh Sibly, 2006. "Efficient Urban Water Pricing," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 39(2), pages 227-237, 06.
  3. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
  4. Montgomery, W. David, 1972. "Markets in licenses and efficient pollution control programs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 395-418, December.
  5. Olmstead, Sheila M. & Michael Hanemann, W. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Water demand under alternative price structures," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 181-198, September.
  6. Mary E. Renwick & Sandra O. Archibald, 1998. "Demand Side Management Policies for Residential Water Use: Who Bears the Conservation Burden?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(3), pages 343-359.
  7. Stavins, Robert, 1998. "Market-Based Environmental Policies," Discussion Papers dp-98-26, Resources For the Future.
  8. Renzetti, Steven, 1992. "Evaluating the welfare effects of reforming municipal water prices," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 147-163, March.
  9. Weitzman, Martin L, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 477-91, October.
  10. Donna Brennan & Sorada Tapsuwan & Gordon Ingram, 2007. "The welfare costs of urban outdoor water restrictions," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 51(3), pages 243-261, 09.
  11. Mansur, Erin T. & Olmstead, Sheila M., 2012. "The value of scarce water: Measuring the inefficiency of municipal regulations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 332-346.
  12. Stavins, Robert, 2001. "Experience with Market-Based Environmental Policy Instruments," Discussion Papers dp-01-58, Resources For the Future.
  13. Parry, Ian W. H. & Bento, Antonio, 2002. "Estimating the Welfare Effect of Congestion Taxes: The Critical Importance of Other Distortions within the Transport System," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 339-365, March.
  14. Christopher Timmins, 2003. "Demand-Side Technology Standards Under Inefficient Pricing Regimes," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 26(1), pages 107-124, September.
  15. Renwick, Mary E. & Green, Richard D., 2000. "Do Residential Water Demand Side Management Policies Measure Up? An Analysis of Eight California Water Agencies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 37-55, July.
  16. Freeman, Jody & Kolstad, Charles D., 2006. "Moving to Markets in Environmental Regulation: Lessons from Twenty Years of Experience," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195189650.
  17. Eric Pels & Erik Verhoef, 2003. "The Economics of Airport Congestion Pricing," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-083/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  18. 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.
  19. S. Gaudin, 2006. "Effect of price information on residential water demand," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(4), pages 383-393.
  20. Lucas W. Davis, 2008. "Durable goods and residential demand for energy and water: evidence from a field trial," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(2), pages 530-546.
  21. Krause, Kate & Chermak, Janie M & Brookshire, David S, 2003. "The Demand for Water: Consumer Response to Scarcity," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 167-91, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2008.66. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (barbara racah).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.