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Economies of Scale and Scope in Local Public Transportation

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  • Mehdi Farsi
  • Aurelio Fetz
  • Massimo Filippini

Abstract

This paper analyses the cost structure of the Swiss urban public transport sector in order to assess scale and scope economies. A multi-output cost function has been estimated for a panel data set of companies operating trolley-bus, motor-bus and tramway systems. The results suggest increasing returns to scale and economies of scope. This analysis has important policy implications in view of the ongoing reforms in several European countries in which competitive tendering is occasionally used to assign the provision of transport services to unbundled franchised monopolies. The significant scope economies provide some evidence in favour of integrated multi-mode operation as opposed to unbundling. © 2007 LSE and the University of Bath

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by London School of Economics and University of Bath in its journal Journal of Transport Economics and Policy.

Volume (Year): 41 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 345-361

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Handle: RePEc:tpe:jtecpo:v:41:y:2007:i:3:p:345-361

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Web page: http://www.bath.ac.uk/e-journals/jtep

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  1. Judy Shaw-Er & Wang Chiang & Ya-Wen Chen, 2005. "Cost structure and technological change of local public transport: the Kaohsiung City Bus case," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(12), pages 1399-1410.
  2. Bailey, Elizabeth E & Friedlaender, Ann F, 1982. "Market Structure and Multiproduct Industries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 1024-48, September.
  3. Giovanni Fraquelli & Massimiliano Piacenza & Davide Vannoni, 2004. "Scope and scale economies in multi-utilities: evidence from gas, water and electricity combinations," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(18), pages 2045-2057.
  4. 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.
  5. Colburn, Christopher B. & Talley, Wayne K., 1992. "A firm specific analysis of economies of size in the U.S. urban multiservice transit industry," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 195-206, June.
  6. Button, K J & O'Donnell, K J, 1985. "An Examination of the Cost Structures Associated with Providing Urban Bus Services in Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 32(1), pages 67-81, February.
  7. Massimo Filippini & Paola Prioni, 1994. "Is Scale and Cost Inefficiency in the Swiss Bus Industry a Regulatory Problem? Evidence from a Frontier Cost Approach," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 219-232.
  8. David W. Gillen & Tae Hoon Oum, 1984. "A Study of the Cost Structures of the Canadian Intercity Motor Coach Industry," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 17(2), pages 369-85, May.
  9. Youn Kim, H. & Clark, Robert M., 1988. "Economies of scale and scope in water supply," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 479-502, November.
  10. Berechman, Joseph, 1987. "Cost structure and production technology in transit : An application to the Israeli bus transit sector," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 519-534, November.
  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. Viton, Philip A., 1992. "Consolidations of scale and scope in urban transit," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 25-49, March.
  13. C. Cambini & M. Filippini, 2003. "Competitive Tendering and Optimal Size in the Regional Bus Transportation Industry: An Example from Italy," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 74(1), pages 163-182, 03.
  14. Giovanni Fraquelli & Massimiliano Piacenza & Graziano Abrate, 2004. "Regulating Public Transit Networks: How do Urban-Intercity Diversification and Speed-up Measures Affect Firms' Cost Performance?," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 75(2), pages 193-225, 06.
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