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Research article2022Peer reviewed

Sanitation and water services: Who is the most efficient provider public or private? Evidences for Brazil

Pereira, Mariana de Souza; Correa Magalhaes Filho, Fernando Jorge; Lima, Priscila de Morais; Tabak, Benjamin Miranda; Constantino, Michel


The present study analyzes water supply and sewage services in the 95 largest Brazilian cities, using two techniques for analyzing the efficiency boundaries, DEA and SFA. We estimate the efficiency score between the years 2013-2018. The results show that private providers are more efficient than public providers in the water supply service. For the sewage service, we do not find significant differences between public and private providers. The results demonstrate an increase in the sanitary sewage service scores and some declines throughout the analysis, revealing an attempt to increase efficiency in the sewage sector. In the water supply sector, we do not observe an improvement in efficiency. The study suggests the absence of incentives for higher efficiency, requiring the creation of instruments that promote better performance through these services' regulatory structures.


Water and sanitation services; Data envelopment analysis (DEA); Efficiency analysis; Stochastic frontier analysis (SFA)

Published in

Socio-Economic Planning Sciences
2022, Volume: 79, article number: 101149

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG6 Clean water and sanitation
    SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities

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