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Water privatisation

Water privatisation

Hall, David and Lobina, Emanuele ORCID: 0000-0003-4774-0308 (2008) Water privatisation. Discussion Paper. PSIRU, London, UK.

PSIRU_Report_(9820)_-_2008-04-W-over.pdf - Published Version

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The article examines the expansion of private water companies since 1989 the withdrawal from developing countries from 2003 onwards, and the economic impact of privatisation. The analysis is set in the context of the historical development of water services in the north and the south, showing that the role of private water companies since the start of the 20th century has been historically limited and exceptional. The impact of water privatisation is considered in relation to the issues of investment, prices, and efficiency, drawing on empirical evidence from the north and developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Particular attention is given to France and the UK, where private water companies, for different reasons, are most established. The evidence from both north and south shows systematic underinvestment, monopoly pricing, regulatory gaming, and no significant efficiency differences between public and private sector operators. In conclusion, the article identifies institutional policies including fiscal constraints and lending conditionalities as key drivers of privatisation, and questions whether these can sustain privatisation in the water sector where historical experience indicates it is an inappropriate solution.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: water companies, water industry, privatisation, private water companies, policy, UK, France
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW) > Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU)
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Last Modified: 17 Mar 2019 17:00

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