IBS Newsletter

July 1997

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado

Program Activities

Political and Economic Change Program

James R. Scarritt and Susan McMillan presented a paper at the Conference on Comparative Human Rights and Repression at the Center for Comparative Politics at the University of Colorado on June 20-21. Their presentation entitled "Ethnic Mobilization, Regime Change and Human Rights in Africa" utilizes measures of political freedoms and personal integrity rights, data on ethnic mobilization from the Minorities at Risk project, data on democracy and its components in the post-independence period from the Polity III project, data on general protests, and a measure of democratic transition to initiate the task of explaining variations in levels of human rights protection in unconsolidated African democracies during the recent period of democratic transition. The authors' results suggest that both the negative effect of ethnopolitical and the frequently positive effect of general protest need to be added to the degree of democratic transition to explain the level of political freedoms at the end of the transition process. Democratic transitions, however, virtually eliminate the effects of regime characteristics in the 1970s. The level of protection of personal integrity rights is influenced by a greater number of protest variables, both ethnopolitical and general. The level of protection of personal integrity rights is influenced by a greater number of protest variables, both ethnopolitical and general, and most of this influence is negative. Long-term differences in democracy rather than recent democratic transitions are influencing the provisions of these rights.

Population Processes Program

Sabine Henning was awarded a fellowship to participate in an Immigration Workshop at the University of Michigan, Population Studies Center, supported by the National Institute on Child and Human Development taking place in Ann Arbor, MI from July 8-12.

Problem Behavior Program

Richard Jessor was an invited participant in a Workshop on Child Labor convened by the National Research Council's Committee on the Health and Safety Implications of Child Labor in Washington, DC, June 25-26. His presentation, "Adolescent Risk Behavior," was designed to inform the committee about the role of risk behavior in adolescent development and its relevance to the demands and opportunities of the work setting.

Environment and Behavior Program

Robert K. Davis traveled to Fort Collins June 3, 18, and 19 to work with the Collaborative Research Support Program assessment team which is preparing its annual report and a proposal for continuing work on the East African wildlife-livestock-pastoral peoples interaction. He then traveled to Kyle, SD from June 21-27 to spend time in the field with the wildlife manager of the Lakota Parks and Recreation Authority to further development of a collaborative proposal for comparing Lakota and Western science-based approaches to resource management.

Gilbert F. White gave the opening paper at the National Resources Law Center conference on "Damming the West" on June 2 in Boulder. On June 6 he reported to Plan Boulder County on "What Will You Be Doing after the Next Great Boulder Creek Flood?" The latter related to a funded project to prepare and distribute a report for public distribution after a great flood about the development of vulnerability to flooding and options to deal with it in the future.


Jihad Elnaboulsi is a Research Economist at The Management of Public Services Laboratory, The French Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering Research (Cemagref), and The National School for Water and Environmental Engineering, Strasbourg (Engees). He also is a researcher at The University of Franche-Comté, Centre de Recherche sur les Stratégies Economiques (Crese), Besançon, France, a teacher of Public Economics at The National School for Water and Environmental Engineering, and a visiting researcher at the Environment and Behavior Program. He worked for two years on renewing drinking water distribution systems, and now he is working on optimal pricing policies for public water and wastewater utilities, privatization, and regulation of water services.

The Water Industry in France: Economic Research on Pricing and Regulation

The water industries exhibit multiple market failures. They consist of local, natural, and legal monopoly. Like most activities in the public sector such as transport, communications and the provision of energy, water distribution and sewerage services are characterized by networks, and their natural monopoly derives from the established local networks of drinking water and sewers: they are capital intensive with sunk costs and increasing returns to scale. Externalities exist at several stages of the water cycle. Due to the economic nature of the industry, general competition is not possible nor desirable.

In France, local communities, known as "communes" (36,000), have a local requirement of providing public services under optimum conditions in terms of techniques and cost-effectiveness, and they are subject to respect water quality standards governed by the European Union Drinking Water Directives and enforced by the French Law. They are responsible for producing and distributing drinking water and collecting and treating wastewater. These two activities qualify as industrial and commercial local public services. A public service is clearly defined in French law and means reliability, continuity, mutability, equal access to all, tariffs, and service provided. Furthermore, the French water utilities are required to be financially self-sufficient. Rate-setting varies across regions and local territories due to a variety of organizational features of services and availability of water resources. The management of these local public services can be public or private-- local governments have the right, by the constitution, to delegate water service management to private companies, which operate under the oversight of local municipal authorities.

In practice, the principal role for prices is to earn revenues to cover the cost of utilities and not to allocate water resources. Current French water pricing is inefficient. Prices are based on average historical accounting costs rather than the economic costs. They do not consider factors such as the cyclicity of demands, the time-of-use and the real value of water resources (scarcity). The purpose of my research is to determine the optimal pricing rules for water and wastewater services. A welfare model is considered and subject to different kind of constraints: technical and financial. This model allows us to establish the optimal pricing rules for these two services: peak-load and non-linear pricing rules. I examine the cyclicity in the temporal structure of demands and the scarcity of water and the effect of water rates on conservation. This model(1) will provide important guidance in the design of efficient water rates and in the development of different water utilities planning strategies.

In order to protect customers against monopoly power in the water industry, improve efficiency and innovation, overcome the informational disadvantage, preserve the environment and natural resources, and ensure compliance with standards, it is necessary to provide more comprehensive regulations for water services privatization than for other privatized industries in the public sector. The form of regulation needs careful thought because a well-designed regulation will improve efficiency and innovation. Regulation of monopoly needs to channel the profit incentive into reducing costs via increased efficiency: these cost reductions can be passed on to consumers in the form of lower prices and improved levels of service. Regulation must, therefore, simultaneously consider two aspects: prices and levels of service. Privatization in France or delegated management is accomplished through a binding contract between the private firm and the local government and may take the form of a concession contract, a lease contract (affermage) or a management contract. Today, nearly 15% of the French population receive public distributed water. Different reasons are responsible for the poor performance and low productivity of most French public water utilities: technical and operational, commercial and financial, human and institutional, and environmental. Because of these problems, many water public utilities have looked for alternative ways to provide water and sanitation services more efficiently, improve both operational and investment efficiency, and attract private finance and private sector participation. There are three private water supply and sewerage groups in France that operate nationwide and worldwide. Each of these groups has strong financial and human resources and is highly successful in providing state-of-the-art technologies for the management and treatment of water and wastewater systems.

The purpose of my research is to determine optimal regulation (2) which can be applied to the French water services delegation.

1. 0 Cf. Elnaboulsi J. (1997): "Peak-load pricing for urban water and wastewater public services," 1997 Meeting of the Canadian Economics Association, June 5-8, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, 26 pages.

2. 0 Cf. Elnaboulsi J. (1997): "The optimal economic regulation and the French experience of privatization," in Proceedings of the 1997 American Water Works Association Annual Conference, June 15-19, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 41 pages.

Funding Opportunities

Hitchings-Elion Fellowships

Applications for 1998 Hitchings-Elion Fellowships, which provide research experience in behavioral and biomedical sciences for scientists at early stages of their careers, should be submitted to the Burroughs Wellcome Fund by September 2. This program supports two years of training in the United Kingdom or Ireland and a third year in the U.S. or Canada. Applicants must be U.S. or Canadian citizens or permanent residents; must have a doctorate in behavioral, biomedical, medical, or veterinary science; and must have received their last doctoral degree within the past ten years.

For more information contact: Hitchings-Elion Fellowship Program, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, 4709 Creekstone Dr., Suite 100, Durham, N.C. 27703. Telephone: (919) 991-5100. Web: http://www.bwfund.org/bwfund/ Fax: (919) 941-5884.

American Council of Learned Societies

The American Council of Learned Societies welcomes applications from scholars in all disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, although research proposals in the social sciences that are primarily quantitative, clinical, or based on laboratory or case study, are not encompassed by this program. Approximately 55 fellowships that will be available. The maximum award is $20,000. Tenure is for six to twelve consecutive months devoted to full-time research, to be initiated between July 1, 1988 and February 1, 1999. Deadline: September 30, 1997.

For more information contact: Ruth Waters, Office of Fellowships and Grants, ACLS, 228 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017-3398, Email: Grants@acls.org, Web: http://www.acls.org.

Research Proposals Funded

Political and Economic Change

Edward S. Greenberg
Alcohol consequences of corporate restructuring
NIH 05/01/96 - 04/30/98 $164,440 supplement

Population Program

Andrei Rogers
Spatial redistribution of the foreign born population
NIH 05/01/96 - 04/30/98 $76,825 supplement

Research Proposals Submitted

Megan A. Lewis
Social control in marital relationships
NIH/NIMH 08/01/97 - 07/31/98 $68,705 continuation

James O. Huff
Latino concentration patterns in cities of the Southwest
HUD 09/01/97 - 08/31/98 $38,784 new

Scott W. Menard and Delbert S. Elliott
Work and illegal behavior
NIJ 01/01/98 - 12/31/98 $241,474 new

Sharon F. Mihalic, John V. O'Loughlin, and Lynn A. Staeheli
Immigrant well-being and community context in U.S. cities
NIH/NICHD 04/01/98 - 03/31/01 $1,785,429 new

Delbert S. Elliott
Comprehensive evaluation plan: amendment two longitudinal valuation proposal
CO LAFE 06/01/97 - 05/31/98 $69,9888 new

Upcoming Colloquia

There is an online listing of recent colloquia. The series will resume in the Fall.

July 1997 IBS Newsletter

Sugandha Brooks and Christine Weeber, Newsletter Editors

Institute of Behavioral Science

Richard Jessor, Director

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0483

(303) 492-8147