Household Preferences for Municipal and Community-Managed Services: Survey Results from Guatemala
William F. Vásquez
Abstract: This article investigates household preferences for municipal and community-managed water services using survey data from Guatemala. Household preferences are elicited using a set of questions where respondents could choose between the municipality and a community-based water organization based on some institutional and service characteristics. Responses to one of those questions allow for identifying the households that would change water supplier if given the opportunity to do so. Results indicate that almost half of respondents with community-managed services would opt for changing to municipal services. In contrast, few respondents with municipal services (11.6 percent) would change to a community-managed system. This can be partially explained by perceived differentials in institutional characteristics such as responsiveness, capacity, and support from the central government. Monetary factors also influence the willingness of respondents with municipal services to change their water supplier. On the other hand, respondents with community-managed services would change water supplier due to the unreliability of their current services. Policy implications are discussed.
JEL Codes: O2, R5, I3.
Keywords: Water service management; household preferences; institutional characteristics; water service performance; Guatemala.