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How "natural" are natural monopolies in the water supply and sewerage sector? Case studies from developing and transition economies

  • NAUGES Céline

    (LERNA, TSE)

  • VAN DEN BERG Caroline

Using data from the International Benchmarking NETwork database, the authors estimate measures of density and scale economies in the water industry in four countries (Brazil, Colombia, Moldova, and Vietnam) that differ substantially in economic development, piped water and sewerage coverage, and characteristics of the utilities operating in the different countries. They find evidence of economies of scale in Colombia, Moldova, and Vietnam, implying the existence of a natural monopoly. In Brazil the authors cannot reject the null hypothesis of constant returns to scale. They also find evidence of economies of customer density in Moldova and Vietnam. The results of this study show that the cost structure of the water and wastewater sector varies significantly between countries and within countries, and over time, which has implications for how to regulate the sector.

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File URL: http://www2.toulouse.inra.fr/lerna/travaux/cahiers2007/07.05.226.pdf
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Paper provided by LERNA, University of Toulouse in its series LERNA Working Papers with number 07.05.226.

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Date of creation: Aug 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ler:wpaper:07.05.226
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  2. David S Saal & David Parker, 2000. "The impact of privatization and regulation on the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales: a translog cost function model," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(6), pages 253-268.
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  4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521271943 is not listed on IDEAS
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  12. Hunt, Lester C & Lynk, Edward L, 1995. "Privatisation and Efficiency in the UK Water Industry: An Empirical Analysis," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(3), pages 371-88, August.
  13. Kim, H Youn, 1987. "Economies of Scale in Multi-product Firms: An Empirical Analysis," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 54(214), pages 185-206, May.
  14. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Swanson, Joseph A, 1981. "Productivity Growth, Scale Economies, and Capacity Utilization in U.S. Railroads, 1955-74," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 994-1002, December.
  15. Seroa da Motta, Ronaldo & Moreira, Ajax, 2006. "Efficiency and regulation in the sanitation sector in Brazil," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 185-195, September.
  16. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1973. "Transcendental Logarithmic Production Frontiers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 28-45, February.
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