19th June 2014
The case for water privatisation
[This blog post is a placeholder]
Water and rail privatisation are challenging but can be successfully implemented, under appropriate regulatory oversight. Thatcher's privatisation saw consumers benefit (on average) both in terms of service quality and lower real prices. Water was an exception (initially) but I gather that this was due to lax regulation in the initial years. As regulation has tightened, things seem to have improved. There was a massive increase in labour productivity as a consequence of Thatcher's privatisation in the UK. Tends of thousands of people enabled to perform more useful things with their time.
This blog post is intended to be a placeholder for relevant research/papers in relation to water privatisation.
The Untapped Potential of Water Privatization By Edwin S. Rubenstein
Privatization of Water Services in the United States: An Assessment of Issues and Experience – by Committee on Privatization of Water Services in the United States, Water Science and Technology Board, Division on Earth and Life Studies, National Research Council
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_privatisation_in_England_and_Wales#Support. This contains a grievance list, as well. The real benchmark must be the service levels in government hands. That is almost always at a deplorable level. (I do agree that public sector mangement can – in such cases – if carried out on the pattern of Singapore – with full-on incentives for executives – including stern accountability – can deliver comparable outcomes. Putting IAS officers who can never be dismissed is never going to work).
Re: rail privatisation.