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Property Rights versus Public Spirit: Ownership and Efficiency of U.S. Electric Utilities Prior to Rate-of-Return Regulation

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  • Hausman, William J
  • Neufeld, John L

Abstract

For over a century, American economists have been engaged in a vigorous theoretical and empirical debate over the economic performance of publicly-owned versus privately-owned electric utilities. The authors review the historical debate and use micro data collected by the U.S. Commissioner of Labor in 1897-98 to construct efficiency measures based on a nonparametric frontier production function. Since this is prior to state rate-of-return regulation, regulatory effects do not confound the analysis. The authors find that publicly-owned electric utilities were significantly more efficient than their privately-owned counterparts. Copyright 1991 by MIT Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics & Statistics.

Volume (Year): 73 (1991)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 414-23

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:73:y:1991:i:3:p:414-23

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00346535

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Cited by:
  1. Haar, Laura N. & Jones, Trefor, 2008. "Misreading liberalisation and privatisation: The case of the US energy utilities in Europe," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 2610-2619, July.
  2. Belloc, Filippo, 2013. "Innovation in State-owned Enterprises: Reconsidering the Conventional Wisdom," MPRA Paper 54748, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Mar 2014.
  3. Bozec, Richard & Dia, Mohamed, 2007. "Board structure and firm technical efficiency: Evidence from Canadian state-owned enterprises," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 177(3), pages 1734-1750, March.
  4. Willner, Johan, 2001. "Ownership, efficiency, and political interference," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 723-748, November.
  5. Ford, George S., 2007. "Does a municipal electric's supply of communications crowd out private communications investment? An empirical study," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 467-478, May.

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