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Quality of Service, Efficiency and Scale in Network Industries: An analysis of European electricity distribution

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  • Christian Growitsch
  • Jamasb, T.
  • Pollitt, M.

Abstract

Quality of service is of major economic significance in natural monopoly infrastructure industries but is generally not reflected in efficiency analysis. In this paper we present an efficiency analysis of electricity distribution networks using a sample of about 500 electricity distribution utilities from seven European countries. We apply the stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) method on multi-output translog input distance function models to estimate cost and scale efficiency with and without incorporating quality of service. We show that introducing the quality dimension into the analysis affects estimated efficiency significantly. In contrast to previous research, smaller utilities seem to indicate lower technical efficiency when incorporating quality. We also show that incorporating quality of service does not alter scale economy measures. Quality of service should be an integrated part of efficiency analysis and incentive regulation regimes, as well as in the economic review of market concentration in regulated natural monopolies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0538.

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Length: 35
Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0538

Note: EPRG 04
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Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

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Keywords: efficiency; quality of service; scale economies; input distance function; stochastic frontier analysis.;

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References

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  1. Tim Coelli & Antonio Estache & Sergio Perelman & Lourdes Trujillo, 2003. "A Primer on Efficiency Measurement for Utilities and Transport Regulators," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15149, October.
  2. Filippini, Massimo & Wild, Jorg, 2001. "Regional differences in electricity distribution costs and their consequences for yardstick regulation of access prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 477-488, July.
  3. Giannakis, D. & T. Jamasb & Pollitt, M.G., 2004. "Benchmarking and incentive regulation of quality of service: an application to the UK electricity distribution utilities," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0408, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  4. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1989. "Agency costs and innovation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 305-327, December.
  5. 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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  7. Kridel, Donald J & Sappington, David E M & Weisman, Dennis L, 1996. "The Effects of Incentive Regulation in the Telecommunications Industry: A Survey," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 269-306, May.
  8. Dixit, Avinash, 1997. "Power of Incentives in Private versus Public Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 378-82, May.
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  11. Jamasb, T. & Pollitt, M., 2001. "International Benchmarking and Yardstick Regulation: An Application to European Electricity Utilities," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0115, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  12. Denny, Michael & Pinto, Cheryl, 1978. "An Aggregate Model with Multi-Product Technologies," Histoy of Economic Thought Chapters, in: Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel (ed.), Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications, volume 2, chapter 9 McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought.
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  15. Ai, Chunrong & Sappington, David E M, 2002. "The Impact of State Incentive Regulation on the U.S. Telecommunications Industry," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 133-59, September.
  16. Atkinson, Scott E. & Primont, Daniel, 2002. "Stochastic estimation of firm technology, inefficiency, and productivity growth using shadow cost and distance functions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 203-225, June.
  17. Antonio Estache & Martin Rossi & Christian Ruzzier, 2004. "The case for international coordination of electricity regulation: evidence from the measurement of efficiency in South America?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13372, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Tim Coelli & Axel Gautier & Sergio Perelman & Roxana Saplacan-Pop, 2012. "Estimating the cost of improving quality in electric distribution: a parametruc distance function approach," CREPP Working Papers 1202, Centre de Recherche en Economie Publique et de la Population (CREPP) (Research Center on Public and Population Economics) HEC-Management School, University of Liège.
  2. Nikogosian, Vigen & Veith, Tobias, 2011. "Vertical integration, separation and non-price discrimination: An empirical analysis of German electricity markets for residential customers," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-069, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Astrid Cullmann & Jürgen Apfelbeck & Christian von Hirschhausen, 2006. "Efficiency Analysis of East European Electricity Distribution in Transition: Legacy of the Past?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 553, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  4. Jamasb, T. & Pollitt, M., 2007. "Incentive Regulation of Electricity Distribution Networks: Lessons of Experience from Britain," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0709, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. Tooraj Jamasb & Rabindra Nepal, 2014. "Incentive Regulation and Benchmarking of Network Security," Discussion Papers Series 522, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  6. Astrid Cullmann & Hélène Crespo & Marie-Anne Plagnet, 2008. "International Benchmarking in Electricity Distribution: A Comparison of French and German Utilities," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 830, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Abate, Megersa & Lijesen, Mark & Pels, Eric & Roelevelt, Adriaan, 2013. "The impact of reliability on the productivity of railroad companies," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 41-49.
  8. Fenrick, Steve A. & Getachew, Lullit, 2012. "Cost and reliability comparisons of underground and overhead power lines," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 31-37.
  9. Rahmatallah Poudineh & Tooraj Jamasb, 2013. "Investment and Efficiency under Incentive Regulation: The Case of the Norwegian Electricity Distribution Networks," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1310, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  10. Astrid Cullmann, 2012. "Benchmarking and firm heterogeneity: a latent class analysis for German electricity distribution companies," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 147-169, February.

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