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Abstract

The effectiveness of pricing policies depends on the price elasticity of consumption. It is well documented that residential demand for water is influenced by heterogeneity associated with differences in the size of the household and socioeconomic characteristics. In this paper, we focus on household size. Our initial hypothesis is that users’ sensitivity to changes in price is different depending on the number of household members. To this end, we carry out an empirical estimation of urban water demand in Zaragoza (Spain) distinguishing between households with different sizes using data at the individual level. As far as we are aware, this approach to urban residential water demand is new in the literature. The analysis suggests that all households are sensitive to prices regardless of size. A more relevant finding is that small households are more sensitive to price changes.

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