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 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    Water Privatization and Regulation in England and Wales
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 1997-05) van den Berg, Caroline
    In 1989, the United Kingdom embarked on one of the first modern privatizations in the water sector, selling assets under license and setting up an independent economic regulator. An important regulatory innovation is its use of price caps and yardstick competition. The author highlights two lessons from U.K. regulatory experience: effective price cap regulation has heavy information requirements, and the necessary data and analytical tools take time to assemble. And such built-in checks and balances as financial autonomy for the regulator and status as an independent government department are not always enough to prevent political interference.
  • Publication
    Unpackaging Demand for Water Service Quality : Evidence from Conjoint Surveys in Sri Lanka
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-01) Yang, Jui-Chen; Pattanayak, Subhrendu K.; Jonson, F. Reed; Mansfield, Carol; van den Berg, Caroline; Jones, Kelly
    In the early 2000s, the Government of Sri Lanka considered engaging private sector operators to manage water and sewerage services in two separate service areas: one in the town of Negombo (north of Colombo), and one stretching along the coastal strip (south from Colombo) from the towns of Kalutara to Galle. Since then, the government has abandoned the idea of setting up a public-private partnership in these two areas. This paper is part of a series of investigations to determine how these pilot private sector transactions (forming part of the overall water sector reform strategy) could be designed in such a manner that they would benefit the poor. The authors describe the results of a conjoint survey evaluating the factors that drive customer demand for alternative water supply and sanitation services in Sri Lanka. They show how conjoint surveys can be used to unpackage household demand for attributes of urban services and improve the design of infrastructure policies. They present conjoint surveys as a tool for field experiments and a source of valuable empirical data. In the study of three coastal towns in southwestern Sri Lanka the conjoint survey allows the authors to compare household preferences for four water supply attributes-price, quantity, safety, and reliability. They examine subpopulations of different income levels to determine if demand is heterogeneous. The case study suggests that households care about service quality (not just price). In general, the authors find that households have diverse preferences in terms of quantity, safety, and service options, but not with regard to hours of supply. In particular, they find that the poor have lower ability to trade off income for services, a finding that has significant equity implications in terms of allocating scarce public services and achieving universal water access.