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On the effects of the financialization of private utilities: lessons from the UK water sector

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  • Salvador Bertomeu

Abstract

This paper analyzes the quantitative impact of the growing role of non-traditional financial actors, in particular institutional investors, in the financing structure and consumer pricing of regulated private utilities. The focus is on the water sector in England and Wales, where the effect of the firms’ corporate financing strategies on key outcome variables may have been underestimated. The analysis is based on a staggered difference-in-differences estimation of the impacts of the evolution of the ownership of the assets, namely an increased participation of institutional investors, on leveraging and water pricing decisions. It shows a statistically significant positive impact on leverage levels and average consumer prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Salvador Bertomeu, 2019. "On the effects of the financialization of private utilities: lessons from the UK water sector," Working Papers ECARES 2019-29, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/297676
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    regulation; corporate finance; water and sewerage; public utilities;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L95 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities
    • L97 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Utilities: General

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