Following an economic crisis in the late 1980s, Argentina became one of the first developing countries to fully implement policies of the 'Washington Consensus', including the liberalisation and privatisation of public utilities. However, the reform and economic growth that followed in the 1990s was eventually undermined by long-term recession and an economic collapse in late 2001, marked by national debt default and currency devaluation in early 2002. In the context of urban poverty and poverty reduction, this paper examines electricity market reform in Argentina, analysing the strengths, weaknesses and distributional impacts. The article raises some of the concerns local actors have of reform, including disproportionate costs to low-income consumers, and the legitimacy of the process itself as a possible barrier to the delivery of more equitable social benefits.
Utilities Policy (2005) 13 (1) 1-14 [doi:10.1016/j.jup.2004.03.001 ]