Hydroelectric power generation in Chile: An institutional critique of the neutrality of market mechanisms

Manuel Prieto, Carl Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


This paper presents an institutional analysis of hydropower development in Chile, focusing on the main legal institutions involved and relevant jurisprudence. Hydropower expansion took place within a neoliberal institutional framework imposed by the military government (1973-1990) that included reforms in both the water and electricity sectors. One of the stated purposes of these reforms was to remove ideology from both water management and electricity generation and ensure the neutrality of the state. The paper argues that the security of property rights for hydropower activities is not value-neutral but sustained only through marginalizing other water rights and interests, such as in-stream uses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-146
Number of pages16
JournalWater International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012



  • Chile
  • hydropower
  • neoliberal reforms
  • water conflicts
  • water rights

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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