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The Governance of the Italian Water Sector and Recent Local Public Services Reforms: Too Much Ado About Nothing?


  • Anna Bottasso
  • Maurizio Conti


The main of this work is to provide a critical assessment of the economic regulation and governance structure in the Italian water industry after the recent reforms. Through a detailed analysis of the economic literature, of the technological and economic features of the sector as well as of the new rules recently passed by Parliament, we argue that, in the case of the Italian water industry, the benefits brought about by competition for the market are likely to have been overestimated by most commentators and policy-makers. In particular, the absence of a clear regulatory framework might be considered the real weakness of the regulatory arrangements that has been characterizing the Italian water sector in the recent period.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Bottasso & Maurizio Conti, 2011. "The Governance of the Italian Water Sector and Recent Local Public Services Reforms: Too Much Ado About Nothing?," Economia dei Servizi, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 161-180.
  • Handle: RePEc:mul:j1t56u:doi:10.2382/35521:y:2011:i:2:p:161-180

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    More about this item


    contracting out; competition for the market; water; local public services; L32; L33; L50; L95.;

    JEL classification:

    • L32 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Enterprises; Public-Private Enterprises
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General


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