Person:
van den Berg, Caroline

Global Practice on Water
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Water economics, Public finance, Monitoring and evaluation
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Global Practice on Water
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Last updated: January 31, 2023
Biography
Caroline van den Berg is working as a Lead Water Economist in the World Bank’s Global Water Practice, focusing mostly on the economics of water supply, wastewater, sanitation and irrigation water services.  She has extensive experience in the preparation and implementation of investment and development policy operations, and in applied research projects – with a work experience that extends over more than 40 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.   She works on cost-benefit analysis, financial analysis, monitoring and evaluation, benchmarking of utilities, regulation and pricing, energy efficiency in water projects and public finance mostly in relation to the water sector.  She has published regularly in academic journals.  Prior to joining the World Bank, she was a research economist, financial analyst and project economist in the private sector. She earned her M.A. in macroeconomics from the Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands and a Ph.D. in spatial sciences from the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). 

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
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Publication

Demand for Piped and Non-piped Water Supply Services : Evidence from Southwest Sri Lanka

2009, Nauges, Celine, van den Berg, Caroline

In many countries, water supply is a service that is seriously underpriced, especially for residential consumers. This has led to a call for setting cost recovery policies to ensure that the tariffs charged for water supply cover the full cost of service provision. Identification of factors driving piped and non-piped water demand is a necessary prerequisite for predicting how consumers will react to such price increases. Using cross-sectional data of 1,800 households from Southwest Sri Lanka, we estimate water demand functions for piped and non-piped households using appropriate econometric techniques. The (marginal) price elasticity is estimated at -0.15 for households exclusively relying on piped water, and at -0.37 for households using piped water but supplementing their supply with other water sources. The time cost elasticity for households relying on non-piped water only is estimated at -0.06 on average, but varying across sources. For both piped and non-piped households, we find evidence of substitutability between water from different sources. We discuss the implications of these results in terms of pricing policy.

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Heterogeneity in the Cost Structure of Water and Sanitation Services : A Cross-Country Comparison of Conditions for Scale Economies

2010, Nauges, Celine, van den Berg, Caroline

The main purpose of this article is to compare the cost structure of water utilities across a set of 14 countries with different levels of economic development. As far as is known, the cross-country perspective is novel in this literature. This article first provides new measures of returns to scale in the water and sanitation sector for a set of countries, most of them from the developing world. It is then shown that the probability of a utility operating under decreasing, constant, or increasing returns to scale depends not only on its characteristics (the volume of water produced in particular), but also on the country's level of economic development (gross national income) and business environment as measured by investor protection, the cost of enforcing contracts and perceptions of corruption.

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Economies of Density, Scale and Scope in the Water Supply and Sewerage Sector: A Study of Four Developing and Transition Economies

2008, Nauges, Celine, van den Berg, Caroline

Using panel data, we estimate measures of density, scale and scope economies in four countries that differ substantially in their levels of economic development and in their piped water and sewerage coverage: Brazil, Moldova, Romania and Vietnam. We find evidence of economies of scale in Moldova, Romania and Vietnam. In Brazil, we cannot reject the null hypothesis of constant returns to scale. The results of this study show that the cost structure of water and sewerage utilities varies significantly within and between countries and over time.