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Does Service Quality Matter In Measuring Performance Of Water Utilities?

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  • Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo

    ()
    (Universitat de València. Dpto. Economía Aplicada II.)

  • Francisco J. Sáez-Fernández

    ()
    (Universidad de Granada. Dpto. Economía Aplicada.)

  • Francisco González-Gómez

    ()
    (Universidad de Granada. Dpto. Economía Aplicada.)

Abstract

Quality is a dimension of water services that has been repeatedly omitted in the study of performance of water utilities. In this paper, we make use of Data Envelopment Analysis techniques (DEA) to compute both conventional quantity-based and quality-adjusted indicators of technical efficiency for a sample of Spanish water utilities. The key assumptions are that a lack of quality (bad quality) can be regarded as a bad output, and the existence of a trade-off between quantity and quality. Our main results indicate that quality matters in measuring technical performance, the difference between conventional and quality-adjusted evaluations representing the opportunity cost of maintaining quality. Averages and distribution functions significantly differ between both assessments of performance, although water utilities do not seem to rank differently.

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File URL: http://www.ugr.es/~teoriahe/RePEc/gra/fegper/FEGWP407.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics and Business (University of Granada) in its series FEG Working Paper Series with number 07/04.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 22 Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gra:fegper:07/04

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Keywords: water utilities; quality; Data Envelopment Analysis.;

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References

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  1. Tim Coelli & Antonio Estache & Sergio Perelman & Lourdes Trujillo, 2003. "A Primer on Efficiency Measurement for Utilities and Transport Regulators," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15149, October.
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  12. Tupper, Henrique Cesar & Resende, Marcelo, 2004. "Efficiency and regulatory issues in the Brazilian water and sewage sector: an empirical study," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 29-40, March.
  13. Saal, David S & Parker, David, 2001. "Productivity and Price Performance in the Privatized Water and Sewerage Companies of England and Wales," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 61-90, July.
  14. Corton, Maria Luisa, 2003. "Benchmarking in the Latin American water sector: the case of Peru," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 133-142, September.
  15. Antonio Estache & Lourdes Trujillo, 2003. "Efficiency effects of "Privatization" in Argentina's Water and Sanitation Services," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/43978, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  16. Picazo-Tadeo, Andres J. & Reig-Martinez, Ernest & Hernandez-Sancho, Francesc, 2005. "Directional distance functions and environmental regulation," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 131-142, June.
  17. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Byrnes, Joel & Crase, Lin & Dollery, Brian & Villano, Renato, 2010. "The relative economic efficiency of urban water utilities in regional New South Wales and Victoria," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 439-455, August.

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