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Impact Of Pricing Structure Selectivity On Urban Water Demand

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  • MICHAEL Nieswiadomy
  • STEVEN L. Cobb

Abstract

Interest in demand management policies has intensified as residential water demand has grown in the United States. Using data from the 1984 American Water Works Association (AWWA) survey, the study here provides an empirical analysis of the differences in price elasticities of demand across water pricing block structures and examines these structures' “conservation‐orientedness.” However, a potential sample selection bias exists. That is, in cities where people are more interested in conservation, utility managers may be more likely to select a rate structure that they believe is conservation‐oriented–an increasing block structure, for example. Managers' selectivity bias may cause research results either to understate or to overstate a particular block structure's impact on water conservation. The analysis here corrects for this selectivity bias in estimating water demand and tests whether consumers respond to average prices or to marginal prices. Correcting for selectivity bias involves an explicit analysis of the factors that influence utility managers' selection of rate structures. Estimating water demand under increasing and decreasing block structures suggests that sample selection bias remains a problem worthy of further investigation.

Suggested Citation

  • MICHAEL Nieswiadomy & STEVEN L. Cobb, 1993. "Impact Of Pricing Structure Selectivity On Urban Water Demand," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 11(3), pages 101-113, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:11:y:1993:i:3:p:101-113
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1465-7287.1993.tb00395.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aigner, Dennis J & Ghali, Khalifa, 1989. "Self-Selection in the Residential Electricity Time-of-Use Pricing Experiments," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(S), pages 131-144, Supplemen.
    2. Michael L. Nieswiadomy & David J. Molina, 1989. "Comparing Residential Water Demand Estimates under Decreasing and Increasing Block Rates Using Household Data," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(3), pages 280-289.
    3. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-512, March.
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    Citations

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    1. Havranek, Tomas & Irsova, Zuzana & Vlach, Tomas, 2016. "Publication Bias in Measuring the Income Elasticity of Water Demand," MPRA Paper 75247, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Henrique Monteiro, 2010. "Residential Water Demand in Portugal: checking for efficiency-based justifications for increasing block tariffs," Working Papers Series 1 ercwp0110, ISCTE-IUL, Business Research Unit (BRU-IUL).
    3. Pinto, Francisco Silva & Marques, Rui Cuhna, 2015. "Tariff recommendations: A Panacea for the Portuguese water sector?," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 36-44.
    4. Xunzhou Ma & Shiqiu Zhang & Quan Mu, 2014. "How Do Residents Respond to Price under Increasing Block Tariffs? Evidence from Experiments in Urban Residential Water Demand in Beijing," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 28(14), pages 4895-4909, November.
    5. Hajispyrou, Soteroula & Koundouri, Phoebe & Pashardes, Panos, 2002. "Household demand and welfare: implications of water pricing in Cyprus," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(4), pages 659-685, October.
    6. Sheila M. Olmstead, 2010. "The Economics of Managing Scarce Water Resources," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(2), pages 179-198, Summer.
    7. Tomas Havranek & Zuzana Irsova & Tomas Vlach, 2018. "Measuring the Income Elasticity of Water Demand: The Importance of Publication and Endogeneity Biases," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 94(2), pages 259-283.
    8. R. Martinez-Espiñeira, 2002. "Residential Water Demand in the Northwest of Spain," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(2), pages 161-187, February.
    9. Arbues, Fernando & Garcia-Valinas, Maria Angeles & Martinez-Espineira, Roberto, 2003. "Estimation of residential water demand: a state-of-the-art review," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 81-102, March.
    10. Marie-Estelle Binet & Fabrizio Carlevaro & Michel Paul, 2012. "Estimation of Residential Water Demand with Imprecise Price Perception," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201233, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    11. Schuck, Eric C. & Green, Gareth P., 2002. "Supply-based water pricing in a conjunctive use system: implications for resource and energy use," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 175-192, June.
    12. 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.
    13. Worthington, Andrew C., 2010. "Commercial and Industrial Water Demand Estimation: Theoretical and Methodological Guidelines for Applied Economics Research/Estimación de la demanda de agua comercial e industrial: pautas teóricas y m," Estudios de Economia Aplicada, Estudios de Economia Aplicada, vol. 28, pages 237-258, Agosto.

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