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It’s not price; It’s quality. Satisfaction and price fairness perception

Raul Jimenez Mori

World Development, 2021, vol. 139, issue C

Abstract: In developing countries, poor quality infrastructure that is highly subsidized is typically associated with populist political interference. In such a context, implementing the cost-recovery tariffs necessary to improve infrastructure services is a political challenge. This paper examines how levels of end-user satisfaction and price fairness perception respond to different price-quality mixes of electricity services in the urban Dominican Republic. The analysis exploits a rich dataset that includes informal and formal users, as well as heterogeneity in a set of service characteristics (i.e., reliability and commercial quality). I further exploit temporal variation in exposure to service improvements and electricity subsidies to evaluate if consumer attitudes change over time. The results suggest that the marginal positive effect of improvements in service quality on satisfaction is greater than the marginal negative effects of increasing prices and eliminating subsidies combined. In this case study, I find no evidence of attitude adaptation. Overall, the results suggest that price adjustments related to electricity service improvements are associated with a lasting increase in customer satisfaction.

Keywords: Consumer satisfaction; Price fairness; Electricity services; Electricity prices; Quality of electricity services; Subsidies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D60 L94 L98 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:139:y:2021:i:c:s0305750x20304290

DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105302

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