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Alternative Price Specification For Municipal Water Demands: An Empirical Test

  • Frerichs, Stephen
  • Becker, Nir
  • Easter, K. William

Based on data from 92 Minnesota cities, the analyses shows that neither marginal price or average price appear as the better predictor of demand. The price elasticity of demand ranges from -. 17 for marginal price in the linear model to -.27 for average price in the log linear model. It appears from the analysis that many consumers are unaware of the marginal price of their water. Thus utilities should simplify their pricing structures and present consumers with an easy to understand costs of water such as the cost of six hours of lawn watering.

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Paper provided by University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics in its series Economic Reports with number 13033.

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Date of creation: 1987
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:umaeer:13033
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  1. Henry S. Foster, Jr. & Bruce R. Beattie, 1979. "Urban Residential Demand for Water in the United States," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 55(1), pages 43-58.
  2. James J. Opaluch, 1982. "Urban Residential Demand for Water in the United States: Further Discussion," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 58(2), pages 225-227.
  3. Joseph V. Terza & W. P. Welch, 1982. "Estimating Demand under Block Rates: Electricity and Water," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 58(2), pages 181-188.
  4. R. Bruce Billings & Donald E. Agthe, 1980. "Price Elasticities for Water: A Case of Increasing Block Rates," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 56(1), pages 73-84.
  5. R. A. Batchelor, 1975. "Household Technology and the Domestic Demand for Water," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(3), pages 208-223.
  6. J. E. Schefter & E. L. David, 1985. "Estimating Residential Water Demand under Multi-Part Tariffs Using Aggregate Data," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 64(3), pages 272-280.
  7. Fisher, Franklin M, 1970. "Tests of Equality Between Sets of Coefficients in Two Linear Regressions: An Expository Note," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(2), pages 361-66, March.
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