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Domestic water pricing with household surveys : a study of acceptability and willingness to pay in Chongqing, China

  • Wang, Hua
  • Xie, Jian
  • Li, Honglin
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In determining domestic water prices, policy makers often need to use information about the demand side rather than only relying on information about the supply side. Household surveys have frequently been employed to collect demand-side information. This paper presents a multiple bounded discrete choice household survey model. It discusses how the model can be utilized to collect and analyze information about the acceptability of different water prices by different types of households, as well as households'willingness to pay for water service improvement. The results obtained from these surveys can be directly utilized in the development of water pricing and subsidy policies. The paper also presents an empirical multiple bounded discrete choice study conducted in Chongqing, China. In this case, domestic water service quality was seriously inadequate, but financial resources were insufficient to improve service quality. With a survey of about 1,500 households in five suburban districts in Chongqing Municipality, this study shows that a significant increase in the water price is feasible as long as the poorest households can be properly subsidized and certain public awareness and accountability campaigns can be conducted to make the price increase more acceptable to the public. The analysis also indicates that the order in which hypothetical prices are presented to respondents systematically affects their answers, and should be taken into account when designing survey instruments.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4690.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4690
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  1. Grafton, R. Quentin & Kompas, Tom, 2002. "Pricing Sydney water," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 51(3), September.
  2. Wang, Hua & Whittington, Dale, 2005. "Measuring individuals' valuation distributions using a stochastic payment card approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 143-154, November.
  3. Fankhauser, Samuel & Tepic, Sladjana, 2007. "Can poor consumers pay for energy and water? An affordability analysis for transition countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 1038-1049, February.
  4. Steven Renzetti, 1992. "Estimating the Structure of Industrial Water Demands: The Case of Canadian Manufacturing," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 68(4), pages 396-404.
  5. Pattanayak, Subhrendu K. & van den Berg, Caroline & Yang, Jui-Chen & Van Houtven, George, 2006. "The use of willingness to pay experiments : estimating demand for piped water connections in Sri Lanka," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3818, The World Bank.
  6. Ronald C. Griffin, 2006. "Water Resource Economics: The Analysis of Scarcity, Policies, and Projects," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026207267x, June.
  7. Welsh, Michael P. & Poe, Gregory L., 1998. "Elicitation Effects in Contingent Valuation: Comparisons to a Multiple Bounded Discrete Choice Approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 170-185, September.
  8. Wang, Hua, 1997. "Treatment of "Don't-Know" Responses in Contingent Valuation Surveys: A Random Valuation Model," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 219-232, February.
  9. Ehemann, Robert W. & Duke, Joshua M. & MacKenzie, John, 2001. "A Spatial Analysis Of The Distributional Effects Of Water Quantity Management," Research Reports 15821, University of Delaware, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
  10. Renzetti, Steven, 1992. "Evaluating the welfare effects of reforming municipal water prices," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 147-163, March.
  11. Dennis Collentine, 2006. "Water Resource Economics: The Analysis of Scarcity, Policies and Projects," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 33(3), pages 437-439, September.
  12. Garcia, Serge & Reynaud, Arnaud, 2004. "Estimating the benefits of efficient water pricing in France," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-25, March.
  13. Raje, D. V. & Dhobe, P. S. & Deshpande, A. W., 2002. "Consumer's willingness to pay more for municipal supplied water: a case study," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 391-400, September.
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