Performance and ownership in the governance of urban water
Miguel A. García-Rubio
In this paper the differences in terms of performance between public and the private governance in urban water management are investigated. A statistical ranking is implemented to determine programmatic efficiency differences in DEA, using an incomplete panel data that gathers information on 20 water utilities in Andalusia, in Southern Spain. In the model, labour and operational costs are considered as inputs. The volume of revenue water, the number of connections and the network length are used as outputs. The analysis indicates that private management is more efficient. The efficiency indicators adjusted by a variable related to quality are estimated and demonstrate that privatization of the service does not mean any loss in terms of quality. However, there are no significant differences between both types of management including as a desirable input hydraulic yield as a proxy of the degree of network renovation. A lower hydraulic efficiency in private management would suggest that the need to make significant investments could be an important factor when making the decision to privatize the management of the urban water service
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