La privatizzazione dei servizi idrici

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Se a qualcuno interessa, c'e' un articolo di Scott E. Masten (University of Michigan) su "Public Utility Ownership in 19th-Century America: The ‘‘Aberrant’’ Case of Water" che al momento e' liberamente disponibile sul sito del Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization.


Unlike other public utilities, most water in the United States is supplied by pub-
licly owned and operated waterworks. The predominance of the public sector in
the supply of water was not always the case, however; private firms dominated
US water supply throughout most of the 19th century. This article analyzes the
puzzle of why water and sanitation systems were the only major utilities to be-
come predominantly public by, first, reexamining historical accounts of the
problems of contracting for water services in light of modern theories of eco-
nomic  organization  and,  then,  evaluating  hypotheses  derived  from  those
accounts using data on 373 waterworks serving US municipalities with popula-
tions over 10,000 in 1890. Among other results, municipal ownership is found to
be related to the distribution of population and commerce within a city in ways
that suggest that frictions between cities and private companies over system
extensions and improvements played a significant role in the shift to municipal
ownership. (JEL H42, L14, L33, L95, N91, R12)