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Water utility consolidation: Are economies of scale realized?

Michael Klien and David Michaud

Utilities Policy, 2019, vol. 61, issue C

Abstract: We analyze how administrative consolidation affects the performance of water utilities using a rich dataset of more than 400 utilities in Central and Eastern Europe from 1995 to 2017. In contrast to many cross-sectional comparisons, our results from a matched difference-in-difference approach indicate that consolidations did not lead to a significant unit cost decrease. Moreover, consolidated utilities do not outperform non-consolidated utilities in the post-consolidation years, and one-off cost increases during the consolidation can even lead to cost increases. We discuss potential reasons why utilities did not achieve economies of scale and cost savings in the analyzed cases.

Keywords: Consolidation; Water Utilities; Merger (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jup.2019.100972

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