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Capitalization, Regulation and the Poor: Access to Basic Services in Bolivia

  • Barja, Gover
  • Urquiola, Miguel

This paper analyses the privatization of utilities in Bolivia, detailing the particularities of the capitalization mechanism which was used for this purpose. The analysis suggests that capitalization and regulation, and the liberalization of the utilities sector more generally, succeeded in attracting foreign investment, thus fulfilling one of the central goals of the reforms of this sector. Foreign investment made possible the increase in access to basic services in urban areas, although access in rural areas still remains very low. In terms of connection, service expansion in the urban areas did not bypass the poor. On the contrary, in some cases, access improvements appear to have been particularly beneficial to low-income households. Some reform-related price increases did have adverse welfare effects. Nevertheless, the findings in this area are affected by data limitations, and in any case do not seem to outweigh the benefits brought about by greater access.

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File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/stc/repec/pdfs/dp2001/dp2001-34.pdf
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Paper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series Working Paper Series with number UNU-WIDER Research Paper DP2001/34.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:dp2001-34
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  1. Barja, Gover, 1999. "Inversión y productividad en la industria boliviana de telecomunicaciones
    [Investment and productivity in the bolivian telecommunications industry]
    ," MPRA Paper 23464, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Barja, Gover, 1999. "Inversión y productividad en la industria boliviana de la electricidad
    [Investment and productivity in the bolivian electricity industry]
    ," MPRA Paper 23461, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Estache, Antonio & Gomez-Lobo, Andres & Leipziger, Danny, 2000. "Utility privatization and the needs of the poor in Latin America - Have we learned enough to get it right?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2407, The World Bank.
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