The Buck Stops Where? Federalism, Uncertainty, and Investment in the Brazilian Water and Sanitation Sector
Evan Kresch ()
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2020, vol. 12, issue 3, 374-401
This paper documents how regulatory uncertainty may undermine public service when different levels of government share a mandate on public service provision. I examine the Brazilian water and sanitation sector, which presents a natural experiment of shared provision between state and municipal companies. Using a difference-in-differences framework, I study a legal reform that clarified the relationship between municipal and state providers and eliminated any takeover threat by state companies. I find that after the reform, municipal companies almost doubled their total system investment, leading to significant increases in system access and decreases in child mortality.
JEL-codes: H77 L95 O13 O18 Q53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:12:y:2020:i:3:p:374-401
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