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Water 2017, 9(6), 434; doi:10.3390/w9060434

Singapore and Sydney: Regulation and Market-Making

Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, 469C Bukit Timah Road, 259772 Singapore, Singapore
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Received: 9 March 2017 / Revised: 1 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
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Abstract

The different institutional forms of water utilities of Singapore and Sydney provide an interesting natural experiment on the role of a regulator in government-owned utilities (GOUs). In both cities, water is provided by GOUs. In Sydney, however, there is an independent regulator whereas in Singapore the Public Utilities Board is a statutory board without a regulator. This paper compared the regulation and market-making efforts by water utilities of Singapore and Sydney. We find that both are similar in quality of service, operational and economic efficiencies, and private sector investments. The difference lies in their choice of the instrument for involving the private sector. Sydney does this by appointing a specific regulator whereas Singapore uses contracts. Indeed, it argues that the government-owned water utilities of both Sydney and Singapore seek to capture as many benefits as possible from market-making efforts, that is, from mimicking private sector behaviors and by operating from the basic tenets of the regulatory state. Both countries seek to make rules addressing the “market failure” of a monopoly. In Sydney, such efforts are seen in the explicit contestability of the market and the high engagement with customers whereas in Singapore the efforts are more muted on both counts and are instead motivated toward developing water businesses as a whole View Full-Text
Keywords: regulation; market-making; water utilities; Singapore; Sydney regulation; market-making; water utilities; Singapore; Sydney
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Leong, C.; Li, L. Singapore and Sydney: Regulation and Market-Making. Water 2017, 9, 434.

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