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Public Utility Ownership in 19th-Century America: The “Aberrant” Case of Water

Scott E. Masten.

in The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization

October 2011; p ublished online January 2010 .

Journal Article. Subjects: Publicly Provided Goods; Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics; Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance; Energy and Utilities; Regional and Urban Economic History; Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise. 21076 words.

Unlike other public utilities, most water in the United States is supplied by publicly owned and operated waterworks. The predominance of the public sector in the supply of water was not...