Departmental Bulletin Paper 水道料金格差の解消と道州制レベルの広域化-市町村原則の罪と政治的な価格決定-
A Solution to the Problem of Water Fee Disparity and Delocalization of the Doshu System: Problems Caused by the Municipality Responsibility Principle and the Politically-Affected Price Setting

矢根, 真二

本稿の目的は, 日本の上水道料金の大きな格差という視点から, 道州制レベルへの事業地域範囲の拡大という抜本的な改革の重要性を提起することである。その主要な根拠は, 「市町村原則の罪」と「政治的な価格決定」という2つの仮説的な見方である。すなわち, 地域固有の経済的合理性よりも水道供給責任を各市町村に課す原則を優先させたために, 高費用な零細事業者を作り出したことと, その結果としての費用格差の拡大が原価を賄えない政治的な価格決定を過半の事業者に蔓延させたことである。この2つの見方を経験的に裏付けることによって, 価格格差以上に著しい費用格差のある現状理解が容易になると同時に, この問題解消の難しさも明らかになる。そこで最後に, 平等面でも財政面でもいっそう魅力的に映る道州制レベルで試算された価格表を提示する。
This study raises awareness of the importance of reforms that expand the supply area of water to the Doshu system level, from the viewpoint of the large disparity of current fees in Japan. This disparity is based mainly on two hypotheses : problems caused by the municipality responsibility principle and those caused by politically-based price settings. The former hypothesis refers to the problem of prioritizing the principle of obligating each municipality to supply water over the economic rationality specific to each region, resulting in creation of small-scale utilities that run at high cost. The latter hypothesis refers to the expanded cost disparity which caused politicallybased price settings that prevent them from covering the initial cost to prevail among the majority of utilities. Empirical evidence of these two perspectives clarifies the magnitude of the cost gap even greater than the price gap, and, at the same time, demonstrates the difficulty of solving this issue. This paper also provides a price list, estimated at the Doshu system level, which takes both equality and finances into account.

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