Willingness to pay for improved water services: Evidence from Peru

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Abstract

We study the willingness to pay (WTP) for a large set of improvements in water service related to quality, continuity, and securing access for people with no house piped water during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using primary survey data from urban Peru, and the contingent valuation method, we estimate a mean WTP of around PEN 4.3 (USD 1.05), 3.7 and 1.8, respectively, for the aforementioned sets of improvements, with the combined WTP representing a 23% increase in the households’ water service monthly bill. The WTP for all sets of improvements is influenced by the expenditure in bottled water (a substitute for tap water, generally perceived as unsafe) and a proxy for household assets. The influence of the individual characteristics typically scrutinized by the literature (e.g., sex, age, and education) varies with the type of improvement examined. We find a significant heterogeneity in WTP across providers and calculate the users’ contribution to a water fund that could crowd-in the public investment in water services’ upgrades. We further discuss the implementation of such water fund.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Economics and Policy Studies
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 20 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies.

Keywords

  • Access to tap water
  • Contingent valuation method
  • Continuity
  • COVID-19
  • Households
  • Quality
  • Safe water
  • Willingness to pay

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