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Efficiency Measurement in Network Industries: Application to the Swiss Railway Companies

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  • Mehdi Farsi

    ()

  • Massimo Filippini

    ()

  • William Greene

    ()

Abstract

The persistence of increasingly high government subsidies in Switzerland’s railroads has led the federal and cantonal authorities to discussing the possibility of high-powered incentive contracts such as those based on cost efficiency benchmarking. Railways are however, characterized by a high degree of unobserved heterogeneity that could bias the efficiency estimates. This paper examines the performance of several panel data models to measure cost efficiency in network industries. The unobserved firm-specific effects and the resulting biases are studied through a comparative study of several stochastic frontier models, applied to a panel of 50 railway companies operating over a 13-year period. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Regulatory Economics.

Volume (Year): 28 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (07)
Pages: 69-90

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Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:28:y:2005:i:1:p:69-90

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100298

Related research

Keywords: cost efficiency; incentive regulation; railroads; scale economies;

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References

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  1. Chamberlain, Gary, 1982. "Multivariate regression models for panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 5-46, January.
  2. Mehdi Farsi & Massimo Filippini & Michael Kuenzle, 2005. "Unobserved heterogeneity in stochastic cost frontier models: an application to Swiss nursing homes," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(18), pages 2127-2141.
  3. Cornwell, Christopher & Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C., 1990. "Production frontiers with cross-sectional and time-series variation in efficiency levels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 185-200.
  4. Pedro Cantos & José Pastor & Lorenzo Serrano, 1999. "Productivity, efficiency and technical change in the European railways: A non-parametric approach," Transportation, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 337-357, November.
  5. Kumbhakar,Subal C. & Lovell,C. A. Knox, 2003. "Stochastic Frontier Analysis," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521666633.
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  7. Bill Greene with Antonio Alvarez (Univ. of Oviedo) & Carlos Arias (Univ. of Leon), 2004. "Accounting For Unobservables In Production Models: Management And Inefficiency," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 341, Econometric Society.
  8. Hsiao,Cheng, 2003. "Analysis of Panel Data," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521818551.
  9. Banos-Pino, Jose & Fernandez-Blanco, Victor & Rodriguez-Alvarez, Ana, 2002. "The allocative efficiency measure by means of a distance function: The case of Spanish public railways," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 191-205, February.
  10. Filippini, Massimo & Maggi, Rico, 1993. "Efficiency and Regulation in the Case of the Swiss Private Railways," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 199-216, June.
  11. Massimo Filippini & Paola Prioni, 2003. "The influence of ownership on the cost of bus service provision in Switzerland - an empirical illustration," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(6), pages 683-690.
  12. Mehdi Farsi & Massimo Filippini & Michael Kuenzle, 2006. "Cost Efficiency in Regional Bus Companies: An Application of Alternative Stochastic Frontier Models," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 40(1), pages 95-118, January.
  13. Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C, 1984. "Production Frontiers and Panel Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(4), pages 367-74, October.
  14. Jondrow, James & Knox Lovell, C. A. & Materov, Ivan S. & Schmidt, Peter, 1982. "On the estimation of technical inefficiency in the stochastic frontier production function model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 233-238, August.
  15. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
  16. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  17. Greene, William, 2005. "Reconsidering heterogeneity in panel data estimators of the stochastic frontier model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 269-303, June.
  18. Jara-Díaz, Sergio R. & Basso, Leonardo J., 2003. "Transport cost functions, network expansion and economies of scope," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 271-288, July.
  19. Antonio Estache & Marianela Gonzalez & Lourdes Trujillo, 2002. "What Does Privatization Do for Efficiency? Evidence from Argentina's and Brazil's Railways," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/43980, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  20. Pitt, Mark M. & Lee, Lung-Fei, 1981. "The measurement and sources of technical inefficiency in the Indonesian weaving industry," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 43-64, August.
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