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Europäische Preisregulierungssysteme in der Wasserwirtschaft: Konzepte und Umsetzungsprobleme


  • Georg Meran


In the course of the deregulation of the telecommunication and energy sector new price regulation mechanisms were introduced to cap the access price to the respective transportation grid. While products and services are supplied under competitive market conditions the transportation girds remains under price control due to its natural monopoly property. This leads to the issue what kind of proce regulation should be implemented. In the water sector conditions are a bit different due to the limited possibility to mix water of different suppliers in one grid. Hence, the water sector remains a topography of regional monopolists which leads to the question how the tariff systems should be regulated to prevent the monopolistic exploitation of customers. This contribution gives an overview what kind of regulation systems are conceivable and which of them have been adopted in European countries. It turns out, that almost all regulation mechanisms have been properly modified to be implementable. The question remains, whether the German water sector should change its current water price regulation system. Im Zuge der Deregulierung des Telekommunikations- und Energiesektors hat in Deutschland eine neue Art an Preisregulierung des Netzbereichs Einzug gehalten. Während das eigentliche Produkt beziehungsweise die eigentliche Serviceleistung in einem deregulierten Markt unter Wettbewerb angeboten wird, ist das Transportnetz als natürliches Monopol weiterhin preisreguliert. Bleibt nur die Frage, welches Preisregulierungssystem zur Anwendung gelangen soll. In der Wasserwirtschaft verhält es sich etwas anders. Die Möglichkeiten der vertikalen Desintegrierung in Produktanbieter und Netzbetreiber ist in technischer Hinsicht nur sehr schwer zu bewerkstelligen. Die Wasserwirtschaft stellt sich vielmehr als eine Landkarte regionaler Monopole dar, und es bleibt die Frage zu beantworten, wie der Wassertarif zu gestalten ist. Es lohnt sich daher, einen Blick auf die verschiedenen Preisregulierungssysteme im europäischen Ausland zu werfen. Dieser Vergleich erfolgt hier in einem theoriegeleiteten Rahmen, um gemeinsame oder unterscheidende Elemente herauszuarbeiten und die Möglichkeiten einer Übertragbarkeit auf den deutschen Wassersektor zu erörtern.

Suggested Citation

  • Georg Meran, 2012. "Europäische Preisregulierungssysteme in der Wasserwirtschaft: Konzepte und Umsetzungsprobleme," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 81(1), pages 167-181.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:81-1-11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Armstrong, Mark & Sappington, David E.M., 2007. "Recent Developments in the Theory of Regulation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
    2. Georg Meran & Christian von Hirschhausen, 2009. "Increasing Block Tariffs in the Water Sector: A Semi-Welfarist Approach," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 902, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Bernstein, Jeffrey I & Sappington, David E M, 1999. "Setting the X Factor in Price-Cap Regulation Plans," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 5-25, July.
    4. Georg Meran & Christian Hirschhausen, 2009. "A modified yardstick competition mechanism," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 223-245, June.
    5. Ephraim Clark & Gérard Mondello, 2000. "Resource Management and the Mayor's Guarantee in French Water Allocation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 15(2), pages 103-113, February.
    6. Liston, Catherine, 1993. "Price-Cap versus Rate-of-Return Regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 25-48, March.
    7. Simon Cowan, 2006. "Network Regulation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(2), pages 248-259, Summer.
    8. Lijin Zhong & Arthur Mol, 2010. "Water Price Reforms in China: Policy-Making and Implementation," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 24(2), pages 377-396, January.
    9. Whittington, Dale, 1992. "Possible Adverse Effects of Increasing Block Water Tariffs in Developing Countries," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 75-87, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gawel Erik & Bretschneider Wolfgang, 2012. "Recht auf Wasser – eine institutionenökonomische Perspektive / The right to water – an institutional economics perspective," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 63(1), pages 325-364, January.

    More about this item


    Regulation; water economics; tariff systems; social water tariff;

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General


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