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Water and sanitation governance between austerity and financialization

Renan P. Almeida and Lucas Hungaro

Utilities Policy, 2021, vol. 71, issue C

Abstract: Drawing from quantitative and qualitative research, this paper explores the case of COPASA – a mixed-capital regional water and sanitation utility in Brazil facing a context of austerity and privatization. We find that the state government, shrinking in a fiscal crisis, opted to increase extraordinary dividends payouts to raise its revenues. Given the mixed company mode of privatization, the private shareholders endorsed this pattern of governance, motivated by a short sight financial logic. This convergence of different interests led the utility to lower investments, failed investment plans, breaches of contracts with municipalities and making it even harder to universalize the services.

Keywords: Water and sewage; Austerity; Financialization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jup.2021.101229

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