IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/gmf/wpaper/2010-17.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Water Pricing and Social Equity in Portuguese Municipalities

Author

Listed:
  • Rita Martins

    () (GEMF/Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal)

  • Carlota Quintal

    () (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal)

  • Eduardo Barata

    () (GEMF/Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal)

  • Luís Cruz

    () (GEMF/Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal)

Abstract

Water supply services are Services of General Interest (SGI), subject to specific public service obligations, such as universality, continuity, quality, affordability, transparency, and consumer protection. There is an extensive empirical literature on the design of optimal prices. However, these contributions tend to neglect the issue of universal service and equity concerning the volume of water for basic needs (the ‘essential minimum quantity’). Addressing this gap in the literature, and using empirical data for the Portuguese municipalities, this paper aims to evaluate whether income-related equity considerations are embodied in water supply Portuguese municipalities’ tariffs. Accordingly, essential minimum quantities of water for representative households are computed, and then compared with the lowest tariff block’s upper limit by water utility. Next, representative households are ranked by costs underlying essential minimum quantities and by income. This analysis also considers concentration curves and indexes which show that water bills are regressive, i.e., there is socioeconomic inequity favourable to the better-off representative households.

Suggested Citation

  • Rita Martins & Carlota Quintal & Eduardo Barata & Luís Cruz, 2010. "Water Pricing and Social Equity in Portuguese Municipalities," GEMF Working Papers 2010-17, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
  • Handle: RePEc:gmf:wpaper:2010-17
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://gemf.fe.uc.pt/workingpapers/pdf/2010/gemf_2010-17.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rita Martins & Adelino Fortunato, 2005. "Residential water demand under block rates: a Portuguese case study," GEMF Working Papers 2005-09, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    2. Roseta-Palma, Catarina & Monteiro, Henrique, 2008. "Pricing for Scarcity," MPRA Paper 10384, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Maria García-valiñas, 2005. "Efficiency and Equity in Natural Resources Pricing: A Proposal for Urban Water Distribution Service," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(2), pages 183-204, October.
    4. Arbues, Fernando & Garcia-Valinas, Maria Angeles & Martinez-Espineira, Roberto, 2003. "Estimation of residential water demand: a state-of-the-art review," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 81-102, March.
    5. Monteiro, Henrique, 2008. "Evolution of cost recovery levels in the Portuguese water supply and wastewater industry 1998-2005," MPRA Paper 11490, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, January.
    7. Jihad Elnaboulsi, 2001. "Nonlinear pricing and capacity planning for water and wastewater services," Post-Print hal-00447925, HAL.
    8. Castro-Rodriguez, Fidel & Da-Rocha, Jose Maria & Delicado, Pedro, 2002. "Desperately Seeking Theta's: Estimating the Distribution of Consumers under Increasing Block Rates," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 29-58, July.
    9. J. Elnaboulsi, 2001. "Nonlinear Pricing and Capacity Planning for Water and Wastewater Services," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 15(1), pages 55-69, February.
    10. Bithas, Kostas, 2008. "The sustainable residential water use: Sustainability, efficiency and social equity. The European experience," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 221-229, December.
    11. Paola Fabbri & Giovanni Fraquelli, 2000. "Costs and Structure of Technology in the Italian Water Industry," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 65-82, March.
    12. Kakwani, Nanak & Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1997. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health: Measurement, computation, and statistical inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 87-103, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Water Policy; Water Pricing; Social Equity; Efficient Water Use; Portugal.;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gmf:wpaper:2010-17. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ana Seiça). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cebucpt.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.