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Abstract

This study provides reference own-price and income elasticity estimates for urban residential water demand, for a range of different contexts. The own-price elasticity sample consists of 1,020 estimates, drawn from 175 studies. The income elasticity sample consists of 516 estimates, drawn from 126 studies. For both the own-price and income elasticity literatures, publication bias appears to be present. Relative to sample mean values, the publication bias corrected income elasticity estimate falls by around one-half, and the publication bias corrected own-price elasticity estimate falls by around one-third. For countries where the income level falls into the World Bank classification of low-income through to lower-middle-income, we recommend default values of: -0.3 and -0.4 be assumed for the short-run and long-run indoor own-price elasticity; -0.6 and -0.7 be assumed for short-run and long-run outdoor own-price elasticity; and 0.1 be assumed as the income elasticity for all scenarios. For countries in the upper-middle and above income groups, we recommend default values of: -0.1 and -0.2 for the short-run and long-run indoor own-price elasticity; -0.4 and -0.5 for the short-run and long-run outdoor own-price elasticity; and that again 0.1 be assumed for the income elasticity, for all scenarios.

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