UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Working Papers

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Working Papers aim to stimulate discussion and critical comment on the broad range of economic, social and environmental issues associated with the United Nations Development Agenda.


A Framework for Analyzing Tariffs and Subsidies in Water Provision to Urban Households in Developing Countries

This paper aims to present a basic conceptual framework for understanding the main practical issues and challenges relating to tariff s and subsidies in the water sector in developing countries. The paper introduces the basic economic notions relevant to the water sector; presents an analytical framework for assessing the need for and evaluating subsidies; and discusses the recent evidence on the features and performance of water tariffs and subsidies in various regions, with a special focus on Africa. The discussion is limited to the provision of drinking water to urban households in developing countries.


Keywords: tariff s, urban development, water, access to water, subsidies
JEL: D61: Microeconomics / Welfare Economics / Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis; L95: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities / Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities; H71: Public Economics / State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations / State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue; D42: Microeconomics / Market Structure, Pricing, and Design / Market Structure, Pricing, and Design: Monopoly
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