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Has private participation in water and sewerage improved coverage? - empirical evidence from Latin America

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  • Clarke, George R. G.
  • Kosec, Katrina
  • Wallsten, Scott

Abstract

Introducing private sector participation (PSP) into the water and sewerage sectors in developing countries is difficult and controversial. Empirical studies on its effects are scant and generally inconclusive. Case studies tend to find improvements in the sector following privatization, but they suffer from selection bias, and it is difficult to generalize from their results. To explore empirically the effects of PSP on coverage, we assemble a new dataset of connections to water and sewerage services at the city, and province level, based on household surveys in Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil. The household surveys, conducted over a number of years, allow us to compile data, before and after the introduction of PSP, as well as from similar (control) regions that never privatized at all. Our analysis reveals that, in general, connection rates to piped water and sewerage, improved following the introduction of PSP, consistent with the case study literature. We also find, however, that connection rates similarly improved in the control regions, suggesting that PSP, per se, may not have been responsible for those improvements. On the other hand, connection rates for the poorest households also tended to increase in the regions with PSP, and in the control regions, suggesting that-in terms of connections at least-PSP did not harm the poor.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3445.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3445

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Keywords: Environmental Economics&Policies; Decentralization; Health Economics&Finance; Water Conservation; Water and Industry; Town Water Supply and Sanitation; Health Economics&Finance; Environmental Economics&Policies; Water Supply and Sanitation Governance and Institutions; Water and Industry;

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  1. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "Does piped water reduce diarrhea for children in rural India?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 153-173, January.
  2. Peter T. Robbins, 2003. "Transnational corporations and the discourse of water privatization," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(8), pages 1073-1082.
  3. David McKenzie & Dilip Mookherjee, 2003. "The Distributive Impact of Privatization in Latin America: Evidence from Four Countries," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  4. Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2002. "Water for Life: The Impact of the Privatization of Water Services on Child Mortality," Working Papers 54, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Sep 2005.
  5. Anwandter, Lars & Ozuna, Teofilo Jr., 2002. "Can public sector reforms improve the efficiency of public water utilities?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(04), pages 687-700, October.
  6. Shirley, Mary M. & Tusubira, F.F. & Gebreab, Frew & Haggarty, Luke, 2002. "Telecommunications reform in Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2864, The World Bank.
  7. Azam, Jean-Paul & Dia, Magueye & N'Guessan, Tchetche, 2002. "Telecommunications sector reforms in Senegal," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2894, The World Bank.
  8. Komives, Kristin & Whittington, Dale & Wu, Xun, 2001. "Infrastructure coverage and the poor : the global perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2551, The World Bank.
  9. Estache, Antonio & Kouassi, Eugene, 2002. "Sector organization, governance, and the inefficiency of African water utilities," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2890, The World Bank.
  10. Jeffry M. Netter & William L. Megginson, 2001. "From State to Market: A Survey of Empirical Studies on Privatization," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 321-389, June.
  11. Antonio Estache, 1994. "World Development Report: Infrastructure for Development," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/44144, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Clarke, George R. G. & Gebreab, Frew A. & Mgombelo, Henry R., 2003. "Telecommunications reform in Malawi," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3036, The World Bank.
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