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State versus Private Sector Provision of Water Services in Africa: A Statistical, DEA and Stochastic Cost Frontier Analysis

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  • Kirkpatrick, Colin
  • Parker, David
  • Zhang, Yin-Fang

Abstract

Under pressure from donor agencies such as the World Bank, a number of developing countries have experimented with the privatisation of water services. This study reviews the existing econometric evidence on the effects of water privatisation in developing economies before presenting new results using statistical, data envelopment analysis (DEA) and stochastic cost frontier techniques and data from Africa. The study finds evidence of better performance in private utilities compared to state-owned utilities according to the statistical and DEA performance measures. But no statistically significant cost differences were discovered between private and public suppliers in the stochastic cost frontier analysis. The paper then considers reasons why water privatisation may prove problematic in lower-income economies, identifying the technology of water provision and nature of the product, transaction costs and possible regulatory weaknesses. However, a second-stage cost function analysis introducing a regulatory variable produced statistically insignificant results.

Suggested Citation

  • Kirkpatrick, Colin & Parker, David & Zhang, Yin-Fang, 2004. "State versus Private Sector Provision of Water Services in Africa: A Statistical, DEA and Stochastic Cost Frontier Analysis," Centre on Regulation and Competition (CRC) Working papers 30604, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:idpmcr:30604
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    7. Yin-Fang Zhang & David Parker & Colin Kirkpatrick, 2008. "Electricity sector reform in developing countries: an econometric assessment of the effects of privatization, competition and regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 159-178, April.
    8. Clarke, George R.G. & Wallsten, Scott J., 2002. "Universal(ly bad) service - providing infrastructure services to rural and poor urban consumers," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2868, The World Bank.
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    13. Bayliss, Kate, 2002. "Privatisation and Poverty: The Distributional Impact of Utility Privatisation," Centre on Regulation and Competition (CRC) Working papers 30663, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM).
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    Cited by:

    1. Chen Lin & Sanford Berg, 2008. "Incorporating Service Quality into Yardstick Regulation: An Application to the Peru Water Sector," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 32(1), pages 53-75, February.
    2. Lin, Chen, 2005. "Service quality and prospects for benchmarking: Evidence from the Peru water sector," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 230-239, September.
    3. Roberto Martínez-Espiñeira & Maria A. García-Valiñas & Francisco González-Gómez, 2007. "Does Private Management Of Water Supply Services Really Increase Prices? An Empirical Analysis," FEG Working Paper Series 07/05, Faculty of Economics and Business (University of Granada).
    4. Ferro, Gustavo & Lentini, Emilio J. & Mercadier, Augusto C. & Romero, Carlos A., 2014. "Efficiency in Brazil's water and sanitation sector and its relationship with regional provision, property and the independence of operators," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 42-51.
    5. Barbosa, Alexandro & Lima, Severino Cesário de & Brusca, Isabel, 2016. "Governance and efficiency in the Brazilian water utilities: A dynamic analysis in the process of universal access," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(PA), pages 82-96.

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