CEPAL Review

Cepal Review is the leading journal for the study of economic and social development issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. Edited by the Economic Commission for Latin America, each issue focuses on economic trends, industrialization, income distribution, technological development and monetary systems, as well as the implementation of economic reform and transfer of technology. Written in English and Spanish (Revista de la Cepal), each tri-annual issue offers approximately 12 studies and essays undertaken by authoritative experts or gathered from conference proceedings.

English Spanish

The privatization of public water utilities

Latin America has kept in step with the worldwide trend towards the privatization of public utilities. Its motivation for doing so stems from a number of factors: an economic philosophy, its quest for greater efficiency, macroeconomic situations, debt-equity swaps, decisions to bring private capital into the management of public utilities during times of economic crisis, and others. This article analyses the characteristics and components of public utilities, the differences existing between one utility and another (particularly in terms of their capital/revenue ratio), the rigidity of supply and investment, the possibilities of giving consumers a choice, the concept of economies of scale and how it ties in with the notion of monopolies, and the legal implications of monopolistic systems.

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