Distributional Effects of Price Reforms in the Italian Utility Markets

Posted: 28 Oct 2008

See all articles by Raffaele Miniaci

Raffaele Miniaci

University of Brescia - Department of Economics and Management

Carlo Scarpa

University of Brescia; NERA Economic Consulting

Paola Valbonesi

University of Padua - Department of Economics and Management, DSEA

Date Written: October 25, 2008

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze some distributional effects of the reforms to water and energy services in Italy. We first document the new regulation setting in these services, illustrating the dynamics of utility prices and of household expenditure in the period 1998-2005. We then propose a way to measure the affordability of public utilities, in order to investigate how many households would incur a potentially excessive burden if they consumed a minimum quantity of utility services. Finally, we calculate this index on data from the Survey on Family Budgets (Indagine sui consumi delle famiglie). Our results show how the affordability of utility bills varies from region to region depending on climate, income, family endowment and family size. The analysis - also based on a counter factual exercise - finds that so far, utility reforms do not seem to have produced any negative effects on weaker households.

Keywords: Consumer behaviour, public utilities, regulation, gas, electricity, water

JEL Classification: D12, L51, L97

Suggested Citation

Miniaci, Raffaele and Scarpa, Carlo and Valbonesi, Paola, Distributional Effects of Price Reforms in the Italian Utility Markets (October 25, 2008). Fiscal Studies, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1289556

Raffaele Miniaci

University of Brescia - Department of Economics and Management ( email )

Via San Faustino 74B
Brescia, 25122
Italy

Carlo Scarpa

University of Brescia ( email )

Via San Faustino 74B
Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche
25122 Brescia
Italy
+39+030+2988+833 (Phone)
+39+030+2988+839/840 (Fax)

NERA Economic Consulting ( email )

50 Main Street, 14th Floor
White Plains, NY 10606
United States

Paola Valbonesi (Contact Author)

University of Padua - Department of Economics and Management, DSEA ( email )

via Del Santo 33
Padova, 35123
Italy
+39+049+8274058 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.decon.unipd.it

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