ResidentialWater Demand in a Mexican Biosphere Reserve: Evidence of the Effects of Perceived Price
MARCO ANTONIO ALMENDAREZ HERNANDEZ
GERZAIN AVILES POLANCO
VICTOR ANGEL HERNANDEZ TREJO
ALFREDO ORTEGA RUBIO
LUIS FELIPE BELTRAN MORALES
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"The purpose of this paper is to provide empirical evidence for policy-makers of water management, evaluate the applicability of economic variables such as price and other factors that affect demand, and determine the impact thereof on decision-making surrounding water management in the El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve in Mexico. We estimated a dynamic function with an average price specification, as well as price perception specification. Findings demonstrated that consumers tend to react to perceived average price but not to the marginal price. Furthermore, long-term price elasticity was found to be higher than short-term elasticity, and both elasticities were found to be inelastic. Inelastic elasticities, coupled with rising prices, generate substantial revenues with which to improve water planning and supply quality and to expand service coverage. The results suggest that users’ level of knowledge surrounding price is a key factor to take into account when restructuring rates, especially in situations where consumers do not readily possess the necessary information about their rate structure and usage within a given billing period. Furthermore, the results can help water management policy-makers to achieve goals of economic efficiency, social equity, and environmental sustainability."
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