IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/4137.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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

Author

Listed:
  • Nauges, Celine
  • van den Berg, Caroline

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Nauges, Celine & van den Berg, Caroline, 2007. "How"natural"are natural monopolies in the water supply and sewerage sector ? Case studies from developing and transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4137, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4137
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2007/02/09/000016406_20070209162017/Rendered/PDF/wps4137.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Fumitoshi Mizutani & Takuya Urakami, 2001. "articles: Identifying network density and scale economies for Japanese water supply organizations," Papers in Regional Science, Springer;Regional Science Association International, vol. 80(2), pages 211-230.
    3. Blackorby, Charles & Russell, R Robert, 1989. "Will the Real Elasticity of Substitution Please Stand Up? (A Comparison of the Allen/Uzawa and Morishima Elasticities)," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 882-888, September.
    4. Mocan, H Naci, 1995. "Quality-Adjusted Cost Functions for Child-Care Centers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 409-413, May.
    5. Serge Garcia & Alban Thomas, 2001. "The Structure of Municipal Water Supply Costs: Application to a Panel of French Local Communities," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 5-29, July.
    6. Estache, Antonio & Perelman, Sergio & Trujillo, Lourdes, 2005. "Infrastructure performance and reform in developing and transition economies: evidence from a survey of productivity measures," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3514, The World Bank.
    7. John C. Panzar & Robert D. Willig, 1977. "Economies of Scale in Multi-Output Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(3), pages 481-493.
    8. Bhattacharyya, Arunava & Harris, Thomas R. & Narayanan, Rangesan & Raffiee, Kambiz, 1995. "Specification and estimation of the effect of ownership on the economic efficiency of the water utilities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 759-784, December.
    9. Tupper, Henrique Cesar & Resende, Marcelo, 2004. "Efficiency and regulatory issues in the Brazilian water and sewage sector: an empirical study," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 29-40, March.
    10. Feigenbaum, Susan & Teeples, Ronald, 1983. "Public versus Private Water Delivery: A Hedonic Cost Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 672-678, November.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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 371-388, August.
    15. 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.
    16. Cubbin, John & Tzanidakis, George, 1998. "Regression versus data envelopment analysis for efficiency measurement: an application to the England and Wales regulated water industry," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 75-85, June.
    17. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Nadia Tecco, 2008. "Financially sustainable investments in developing countries water sectors: what conditions could promote private sector involvement?," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 129-142, June.
    2. repec:idb:brikps:66858 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Francisco González Gómez & Miguel Angel García Rubio, 2008. "Efficiency in the management of urban water services. What have we learned after four decades of research?," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 185(2), pages 39-67, July.
    4. Ángel M. Prieto & José L. Zofío & Inmaculada Álvarez, 2015. "Cost economies, urban patterns and population density: The case of public infrastructure for basic utilities," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(4), pages 795-816, November.
    5. Konstantinos Tsagarakis, 2013. "Does Size Matter? Operating Cost Coverage for Water Utilities," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 27(5), pages 1551-1562, March.
    6. Angel Prieto & José L. Zofio & Inmaculada Alvarez, 2009. "Economías de escala, densidad y alcance en la provisión pública de infraestructura básica municipal," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 190(3), pages 59-94, September.
    7. Malcolm Abbott & Bruce Cohen, 2010. "Industry Structure Issues in the Water and Wastewater Sectors in Australia," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 29(1), pages 48-63, March.
    8. Ferro, Gustavo & Lentini, Emilio & Mercadier, Augusto & Romero, Carlos A., 2010. "Retornos a escala en agua y saneamiento: estimaciones para América Latina [Returns to scale in water and sanitation: estimates for Latin Amercia]," MPRA Paper 20324, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jan 2010.
    9. Eiji Satoh, 2012. "Consolidation and Scale Economies in the Japanese Sewerage Industry," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd12-240, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    10. Abbott, Malcolm & Cohen, Bruce, 2009. "Productivity and efficiency in the water industry," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3-4), pages 233-244, September.
    11. Alexandr Akimov & Paul Simshauser, 2018. "Performance measurement in Australian water utilities: Current state and future directions," Discussion Papers in Finance finance:201802, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Céline Nauges & Caroline Berg, 2008. "Economies of density, scale and scope in the water supply and sewerage sector: a study of four developing and transition economies," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 144-163, October.
    2. François Destandau & Serge Garcia, 2014. "Service quality, scale economies and ownership: an econometric analysis of water supply costs," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 152-182, October.
    3. Abbott, Malcolm & Cohen, Bruce, 2009. "Productivity and efficiency in the water industry," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3-4), pages 233-244, September.
    4. Walter, Matthias & Cullmann, Astrid & von Hirschhausen, Christian & Wand, Robert & Zschille, Michael, 2009. "Quo vadis efficiency analysis of water distribution? A comparative literature review," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3-4), pages 225-232, September.
    5. Carvalho, Pedro & Marques, Rui Cunha & Berg, Sanford, 2012. "A meta-regression analysis of benchmarking studies on water utilities market structure," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 40-49.
    6. Andrea Guerrini & Giulia Romano & Bettina Campedelli, 2013. "Economies of Scale, Scope, and Density in the Italian Water Sector: A Two-Stage Data Envelopment Analysis Approach," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 27(13), pages 4559-4578, October.
    7. Sabbioni, Guillermo, 2008. "Efficiency in the Brazilian sanitation sector," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 11-20, March.
    8. Saal David S. & Arocena Pablo & Maziotis Alexandros & Triebs Thomas, 2013. "Scale and Scope Economies and the Efficient Vertical and Horizontal Configuration of the Water Industry: A Survey of the Literature," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 93-129, March.
    9. Miguel A. García-Rubio & Francisco González-Gómez & Jorge Guardiola, 2009. "Performance and ownership in the governance of urban water," FEG Working Paper Series 09/03, Faculty of Economics and Business (University of Granada).
    10. Angel Prieto & José L. Zofio & Inmaculada Alvarez, 2009. "Economías de escala, densidad y alcance en la provisión pública de infraestructura básica municipal," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 190(3), pages 59-94, September.
    11. Malcolm Abbott & Bruce Cohen, 2010. "Industry Structure Issues in the Water and Wastewater Sectors in Australia," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 29(1), pages 48-63, March.
    12. Hélène Bouscasse & François Destandau & Serge Garcia, 2006. "Analyse économétrique des coûts des services d'eau potable et qualité des prestations offertes aux usagers," Post-Print hal-01072367, HAL.
    13. Lin, Chen, 2005. "Service quality and prospects for benchmarking: Evidence from the Peru water sector," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 230-239, September.
    14. Romano, Giulia & Guerrini, Andrea, 2011. "Measuring and comparing the efficiency of water utility companies: A data envelopment analysis approach," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 202-209.
    15. Guerrini, Andrea & Romano, Giulia & Leardini, Chiara, 2018. "Economies of scale and density in the Italian water industry: A stochastic frontier approach," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 103-111.
    16. Rita Martins & Fernando Coelho & Adelino Fortunato, 2012. "Water losses and hydrographical regions influence on the cost structure of the Portuguese water industry," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 81-94, August.
    17. Torres, Marcelo & Morrison Paul, Catherine J., 2006. "Driving forces for consolidation or fragmentation of the US water utility industry: A cost function approach with endogenous output," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 104-120, January.
    18. Augusto Mercadier & Walter Cont & Gustavo Ferro, 2016. "Economies of scale in Peru’s water and sanitation sector," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 215-228, April.
    19. Byrnes, Joel & Crase, Lin & Dollery, Brian & Villano, Renato, 2010. "The relative economic efficiency of urban water utilities in regional New South Wales and Victoria," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 439-455, August.
    20. Michael Zschille, 2014. "Nonparametric measures of returns to scale: an application to German water supply," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 1029-1053, November.

    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:wbk:wbrwps:4137. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.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.