This thesis concerns governmentally motivated institutional changes in the water supply and sanitation (WSS) sector, and more specifically the changes associated with the adoption of the neo-liberal agenda. The continuous growth in the demand for WSS services has posed decision makers with the challenge to discover new, and to adapt existing, institutions. Institutional change in the WSS sector is a hazardous enterprise for any policy maker in view of the public interest at stake, the externalities associated, and the ambiguous nature of the good. The most prominent institutional change for the WSS sector is neo-liberalism. This change that started at the beginning of the 1990s entailed essentially a call for more competition and more private sector involvement. Neo-liberalism manifests itself in the water sector through three complementary forms: a shift in ownership of the water services supplier (privatisation), enhanced competition (liberalisation), and involvement of private parties through partnership arrangements (private sector involvement).

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M.P. van Dijk (Meine Pieter)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus School of Economics

Schouten, M. (2009, April 17). Strategy and performance of water supply and sanitation providersEffects of two decades of neo-liberalism. Retrieved from