Benchmarking and incentive regulation of quality of service: an application to the UK electricity distribution utilities
AbstractQuality of service has emerged as an important issue in post-reform regulation of electricity distribution networks. Regulators have employed partial incentive schemes to promote cost saving, investment efficiency, and service quality. This paper presents a quality-incorporated benchmarking study of the electricity distribution utilities in the UK between 1991/92 and 1998/99. We calculate technical efficiency of the utilities using Data Envelopment Analysis technique and productivity change over time using quality-incorporated Malmquist indices. We find that cost efficient firms do not necessarily exhibit high service quality and that efficiency scores of cost-only models do not show high correlation with those of quality-based models. The results also show that improvements in service quality have made a significant contribution to the sector’s total productivity change. In addition, we show that integrating quality of service in regulatory benchmarking is preferable to cost-only approaches.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0408.
Date of creation: Jan 2004
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quality of service; benchmarking; incentive regulation; data envelopment analysis; electricity;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
- L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
- L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
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