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Making ends meet: Actual versus potential joint affordability of utility services

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  • Martins, Rita
  • Quintal, Carlota
  • Antunes, Micaela

Abstract

This paper analyses the joint affordability of a set of essential services (water, energy, and communications). To overcome the limitations of analyses based on actual expenditures, the paper addresses potential affordability, advancing a method to assess it empirically. It also investigates beyond national averages by using microeconomic data from the 2015/2016 Portuguese Household Budget Survey. The disaggregated analysis reveals disparities, with poorer and larger families presenting higher burdens of utility expenditures. A sensitivity analysis reveals that at least 9% of households face actual affordability problems. Potential affordability results suggest the existence of under-consumption within the first two expenditure quintiles.

Suggested Citation

  • Martins, Rita & Quintal, Carlota & Antunes, Micaela, 2019. "Making ends meet: Actual versus potential joint affordability of utility services," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 120-126.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juipol:v:56:y:2019:i:c:p:120-126
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jup.2018.12.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Martins, Rita & Antunes, Micaela & Fortunato, Adelino, 2020. "Regulatory changes to Portugal's social tariffs: Carrying water in a sieve?," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
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    5. López-Ruiz, Samara & Tortajada, Cecilia & González-Gómez, Francisco, 2020. "Is the human right to water sufficiently protected in Spain? Affordability and governance concerns," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Joint affordability; Utilities; Potential affordability;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • L95 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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