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Water services in Italy: implementation of the reform and efficiency of providers

  • Michele Benvenuti

    ()

    (Banca d'Italia)

  • Elena Gennari

    ()

    (Banca d'Italia)

The paper investigates the organization of the Italian water sector in the light of the reforms of public utilities. The aim is to examine the degree of implementation of the water sector reform (the so-called Galli Law of 1994) and assess the performance of operators through a study of their financial indicators and a non-parametric efficiency analysis. The information sources include two Bank of Italy surveys carried out in 2007 on local public water authorities and local water service providers. Financial indicators point to a low return on equity: for more than half of the firms it is lower than the risk-free interest rate. The non-parametric efficiency analysis does not reveal significant economies of scope and highlights a certain degree of variability of technical efficiency scores. This suggests that there is room for efficiency gains through the introduction of comparative competitive mechanisms such as the yardstick competition.

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File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/qef/2008-0023/QEF_23.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) with number 23.

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Date of creation: Sep 2008
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_23_08
Contact details of provider: Postal: Via Nazionale, 91 - 00184 Roma
Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it

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