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Welfare and Distribution Effects of Water Pricing Policies

Author

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  • Arjan Ruijs

    (Wageningen University)

Abstract

In this paper, distribution and welfare effects of changes in block price systems are evaluated. A method is discussed to determine, for a Marshallian demand function, equivalent variation in case of a block price system. The method is applied to analyze welfare and distribution effects of changing water prices in the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo. Results show that there is a trade off between average welfare and income distribution. A pro-poor price system may result in lower average welfare than a flat price system, but in higher individual welfare for the poor. Moreover, there is a trade off between revenues for the water company and income distribution. Even though pro-poor price systems may not be as good for average welfare as flat price systems, their direct effects on poverty are important. Introducing pro-poor price systems, however, may have financial consequences for the water companies.

Suggested Citation

  • Arjan Ruijs, 2007. "Welfare and Distribution Effects of Water Pricing Policies," Working Papers 2007.92, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2007.92
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dinusha Dharmaratna & Edwyna Harris, 2012. "Estimating Residential Water Demand Using the Stone-Geary Functional Form: The Case of Sri Lanka," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 26(8), pages 2283-2299, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Water Demand; Welfare Economics; Equivalent Variation;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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