Person:
van den Berg, Caroline

Global Practice on Water
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Fields of Specialization
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
    How "Natural" are Natural Monopolies in the Water Supply and Sewerage Sector? Case Studies from Developing and Transition Economies
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-02) Nauges, Céline; van den Berg, Caroline
    Using data from the International Benchmarking NETwork database, the authors estimate measures of density and scale economies in the water industry in four countries (Brazil, Colombia, Moldova, and Vietnam) that differ substantially in economic development, piped water and sewerage coverage, and characteristics of the utilities operating in the different countries. They find evidence of economies of scale in Colombia, Moldova, and Vietnam, implying the existence of a natural monopoly. In Brazil the authors cannot reject the 0 hypothesis of constant returns to scale. They also find evidence of economies of customer density in Moldova and Vietnam. The results of this study show that the cost structure of the water and wastewater sector varies significantly between countries and within countries, and over time, which has implications for how to regulate the sector.
  • 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.