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A meta-regression analysis of benchmarking studies on water utilities market structure

Carvalho, Pedro and Marques, Rui Cunha and Berg, Sanford (2011): A meta-regression analysis of benchmarking studies on water utilities market structure.

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Abstract

This paper updates the literature on water utility benchmarking studies carried out worldwide, focusing on scale and scope economies. Using meta-regression analysis, the study investigates which variables from published studies influence these economies. Our analysis led to several conclusions. The results indicate that there is a higher probability of finding diseconomies of scale and scope in large utilities; however, only the results for scale economies are significant. Diseconomies of scale and scope are more likely to be found in publicly-owned utilities than when the ownership is mostly private; as would be expected, multi-utilities are more likely to have scale and scope economies.

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