A Global Survey of Urban Water Tariffs — Are They Sustainable, Efficient and Fair?

International Journal of Water Resources Development, Forthcoming

PERC Research Paper No. 12-20

19 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2012 Last revised: 14 Nov 2012

See all articles by David Zetland

David Zetland

Leiden University - Leiden University College

Christopher Gasson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 12, 2012

Abstract

This paper examines the relations between tariffs and sustainability, efficiency and equity, using a unique data-set for 308 cities in 102 countries. Higher water tariffs are correlated with lower per capita consumption, smaller local populations, lower water availability, higher demand and a lower risk of shortage. Aggregating to the national level, higher tariffs are correlated with higher GDP and better governance. A different country-level analysis shows that a higher percentage of the population with water service is correlated with better governance, higher GDP and a greater risk of water shortage. The relation between water prices and service coverage is statistically inconsistent.

Keywords: water tariff, governance, risk, shortage, climate change, elasticity

JEL Classification: L95, Q25

Suggested Citation

Zetland, David and Gasson, Christopher, A Global Survey of Urban Water Tariffs — Are They Sustainable, Efficient and Fair? (October 12, 2012). International Journal of Water Resources Development, Forthcoming; PERC Research Paper No. 12-20. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2015338 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2015338

David Zetland (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Leiden University College ( email )

P.O. Box 13228
Den Haag, 2501EE
Netherlands

Christopher Gasson

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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