Measurement of willingness to pay: Methods and limitations for the usability in the wastewater disposal sector

Competitive markets ensure that companies provide goods and services for which consumers are willing to pay. That is what economists call “qualitative efficiency”. It is unclear however, what consumers are willing to pay for goods and services provided by wastewater utilities. In Germany, this kind of market information is missing, but can be of twofold usage. First, information about willingness to pay might support decision making to steer investment and cost-saving measures. Second, consumers benefit, as their preferences for goods and services can be integrated into the wastewater utilities planning process. A milestone for consumer protection.

In view of this, the project analyses opportunities and limitations of methods for measuring willingness to pay in the wastewater disposal sector. We address primarily willingness to pay for measures mitigating negative consequences from climate change and promoting resilience. The scientific research applies theories/methods from environmental economics, new institutional economics and econometrics.


  • PhD student: Benedikt Roters
  • Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Mark Oelmann (HRW, Institute for Business Administration)
  • Supervisor: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Denecke (UDE, Engineering)
  • Mentor: Nadine Gerner (Emschergenossenschaft/Lippeverband)