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Stay Public or Go Private?: A Comparative Analysis of Water Services between Quito and Guayaquil


  • Paul Carrillo
  • Orazio Bellettini
  • Elizabeth Coombs


This paper computes several indicators of water coverage, quality, and prices in Ecuador’s two largest cities: Quito and Guayaquil—both before and after the privatization of water services in Guayaquil. The type of data sources that are used make it possible to specifically control for income and, thus, to evaluate changes in water provision, particularly among the poor. These indicators provide useful information about how certain water-related services have changed over time and facilitate evaluating the performance of each company. It should be emphasized, however, that such estimates cannot be used to identify the causal effects of the privatization of water provision. In particular, differences in a) before-concession water-coverage trends, c) rural-to-urban migration patterns, and c) other idiosyncratic institutional characteristics between these two cities, suggest that Quito may not be a suitable control group for identifying the casual effects of privatization.

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  • Paul Carrillo & Orazio Bellettini & Elizabeth Coombs, 2007. "Stay Public or Go Private?: A Comparative Analysis of Water Services between Quito and Guayaquil," Research Department Publications 3236, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3236

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    1. repec:hrv:faseco:33077889 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Megginson, William L & Nash, Robert C & van Randenborgh, Matthias, 1994. " The Financial and Operating Performance of Newly Privatized Firms: An International Empirical Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(2), pages 403-452, June.
    3. Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "State versus Private Ownership," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 133-150, Fall.
    4. Barberis, Nicholas & Maxim Boycko & Andrei Shleifer & Natalia Tsukanova, 1996. "How Does Privatization Work? Evidence from the Russian Shops," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 764-790, August.
    5. Rafael La Porta & Florencio López-de-Silanes, 1999. "The Benefits of Privatization: Evidence from Mexico," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1193-1242.
    6. George R.G. Clarke & Katrina Kosec & Scott Wallsten, 2009. "Has private participation in water and sewerage improved coverage? Empirical evidence from Latin America," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(3), pages 327-361.
    7. Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2005. "Water for Life: The Impact of the Privatization of Water Services on Child Mortality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 83-120, February.
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