Assessing the impact of Mali's water privatization across stakeholders
This paper offers a quantitative evaluation of the distribution of the welfare of a water privatization experience in Mali among labor, investors,intermediate input providers, users and taxpayers. The assessment is based on an index number inspired by Bennet (1920). We find four main impacts. First, taxpayers are the main losers as subsidies are still needed. Second, users benefited through lower real water prices, although users in Bamako did better than the others and future users will be hurt by insufficient investment. Third, labor, intermediate suppliers and investors have also benefited. Fourth, efficiency-equity trade-offs are for real in the water business in Africa. Indeed, the distribution of the gains within factor categories has not been even, largely favoring foreign actors over domestic actors. This easily explains the unhappiness of the Malians. The regulatory decisions to correct it explains why the private operator lost its incentive to stay in the country.
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