van den Berg, Caroline

Global Practice on Water
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Water economics, Public finance, Monitoring and evaluation
Global Practice on Water
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Last updated: January 31, 2023
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
  • Publication
    The Use of Willingness to Pay Experiments : Estimating Demand for Piped Water Connections in Sri Lanka
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-01) Pattanayak, Subhrendu K.; van den Berg, Caroline; Yang, Jui-Chen; Van Houtven, George
    The authors show how willingness to pay surveys can be used to gauge household demand for improved network water and sanitation services. They do this by presenting a case-study from Sri Lanka, where they surveyed approximately 1,800 households in 2003. Using multivariate regression, they show that a complex combination of factors drives demand for service improvements. While poverty and costs are found to be key determinants of demand, the authors also find that location, self-provision, and perceptions matter as well, and that subsets of these factors matter differently for subsamples of the population. To evaluate the policy implications of the demand analysis, they use the model to estimate uptake rates of improved service under various scenarios-demand in subgroups, the institutional decision to rely on private sector provision, and various financial incentives targeted to the poor. The simulations show that in this particular environment in Sri Lanka, demand for piped water services is low, and that it is unlikely that under the present circumstances the goal of nearly universal piped water coverage is going to be achieved. Policy instruments, such as subsidization of connection fees, could be used to increase demand for piped water, but it is unclear whether the benefits of the use of such policies would outweigh the costs.
  • Publication
    Water Concessions : Who Wins, Who Loses, and What To Do About It
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2000-10) van den Berg, Caroline
    This note, based on the World Bank's Private Participation in Infrastructure (PPI) project database, reviews trends in infrastructure projects with private participation in low-income countries. Four main conclusions arise. Surprisingly, the proportion of countries with at least one project - eighty one percent - is higher among low-income, than middle-income countries. As in middle-income countries, most investment has been in telecommunications, or energy projects. However, in low-income countries, well over half the projects are greenfield. And the scale of private participation in low-income countries, lags far behind that in middle-income countries.
  • 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.