Munich Personal RePEc Archive

El cambiante panorama latinoamericano en cuanto a prestación y regulación de los servicios de agua potable y saneamiento

Lentini, Emilio J and Ferro, Gustavo (2010): El cambiante panorama latinoamericano en cuanto a prestación y regulación de los servicios de agua potable y saneamiento.

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Abstract

Since the Great Depression of the 1930s, it was common knowledge in the Latin American water and sanitation sector the idea of take advantage of scale economies, typical of these natural monopolies, in a context favorable to state involvement in the activity. In parallel, the development of sanitary engineering and the necessity of improve and extend coverage due to health and merit goods considerations. Until the 1980s centralized state-owned monopolies ruled the sector in urban areas, while in rural places the role was performed by decentralized or municipal services. Between the 1930s and the 1960, important investments in sanitary infrastructure were made in the region. Since the 1970s, growing fiscal stress started to affect the expansion and the maintenance of the inherited infrastructure. In the 1980s the sectors decayed because of public spending cuts in the context of the Debt Crisis, and joint with a different vision, a consensus grown in direction to reforms of the sector (regionalization) and to private sector participation. Nowadays, centralized services are the exception and are generally found in small extension countries and or low population places. More spread is the national regulation. Federal countries as Argentina, Brazil and Mexico do not have a national regulator. Multisectoral regulators are found in a few countries, of small territory and population.

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