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Do mergers improve efficiency? Evidence from restructuring the US electric power sector

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  • Kwoka, John
  • Pollitt, Michael

Abstract

This paper analyses the performance impact of the merger wave which took place in the US electricity industry during the period 1994-2003. It does so by analyzing the impact on operating and total cost in electricity distribution. While there are past studies of efficiency and productivity effects, as well as of prices, profits, and other outcomes, this study differs in several ways. First, the database consists of many merging and non-merging firms, rather than only a few on which to base inferences. Second, all of these mergers arise in a single industry, greatly facilitating controlled comparison. Third, we have data on the several years of pre-merger and post-merger efficiency of the specific merging units, unlike virtually all past studies. Finally, we employ a powerful nonparametric technique--data envelopment analysis--to measure the efficiency of each operating unit. The results indicate that electricity mergers are not consistent with improved cost performance.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 28 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 645-656

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:28:y:2010:i:6:p:645-656

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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Keywords: Mergers Efficiency analysis Electricity distribution Data envelopment analysis;

References

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  1. R. D. Banker & A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper, 1984. "Some Models for Estimating Technical and Scale Inefficiencies in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(9), pages 1078-1092, September.
  2. Jamasb, Tooraj & Pollitt, Michael, 2003. "International benchmarking and regulation: an application to European electricity distribution utilities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(15), pages 1609-1622, December.
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  5. Leggio, Karyl B & Lien, Donald, 2000. "Mergers in the Electric Utility Industry in a Deregulatory Environment," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 69-85, January.
  6. Domah, P. & Pollitt, M.G., 2000. "The Restructuring and Privatisation of Electricity Distribution and Supply Businesses in England and Wales: A Social Cost Benefit Analysis," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0007, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  7. Gugler, Klaus & Mueller, Dennis C. & Yurtoglu, B. Burcin & Zulehner, Christine, 2003. "The effects of mergers: an international comparison," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 625-653, May.
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  9. Kira Markiewicz & Nancy L. Rose & Catherine Wolfram, 2004. "Do Markets Reduce Costs? Assessing the Impact of Regulatory Restructuring on U.S. Electric Generation Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 11001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Jamasb, T. & Pollitt, M., 2000. "Benchmarking and regulation: international electricity experience," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 107-130, September.
  12. Gregor Andrade & Mark Mitchell & Erik Stafford, 2001. "New Evidence and Perspectives on Mergers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 103-120, Spring.
  13. Berry, S Keith, 2000. "Excess Returns in Electric Utility Mergers during Transition to Competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 175-88, September.
  14. Ray, Dennis J & Thompson, Howard E, 1990. ""Fifty in Five": The Prospects for Merger in the Electric Utility Industry," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 111-28, June.
  15. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
  16. Kaserman, David L & Mayo, John W, 1991. "The Measurement of Vertical Economies and the Efficient Structure of the Electric Utility Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(5), pages 483-502, September.
  17. Kwoka, John E., 2002. "Vertical economies in electric power: evidence on integration and its alternatives," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 653-671, May.
  18. Anderson, James Earl, 1999. "Making Operational Sense of Mergers and Acquisitions," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 12(7), pages 49-59, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Peyrache, Antonio, 2013. "Industry structural inefficiency and potential gains from mergers and break-ups: A comprehensive approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 230(2), pages 422-430.
  2. Pollitt, M. G., 2012. "The role of policy in energy transitions: lessons from the energy liberalisation era," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1216, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  3. Paul Nillesen & Michael Pollitt, 2011. "Ownership Unbundling in Electricity Distribution: Empirical Evidence from New Zealand," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 61-93, January.
  4. KamiƄski, Jacek, 2014. "A blocked takeover in the Polish power sector: A model-based analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 42-52.
  5. Orley C. Ashenfelter & Daniel Hosken & Matthew C. Weinberg, 2014. "Did Robert Bork Understate the Competitive Impact of Mergers? Evidence from Consummated Mergers," NBER Working Papers 19939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Duarte Brito & Pedro Pereira & Joaquim Ramalho, 2013. "Mergers, Coordinated Effects and Efficiency in the Portuguese Non-Life Insurance Industry," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2013_18, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
  7. Stephen Fyfe & Mark Garner & George Vegh, 2013. "Mergers by Choice, Not Edict: Reforming Ontario's Electricity Distribution Policy," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 376, March.

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