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Divestiture Policy and Operating Efficiency in U.S. Electric Power Distribution

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  • Kwoka, J.
  • Ozturk, S.
  • Pollitt, M.G.

Abstract

This study examines the effects of divestiture policy on the operating efficiency of US distribution utilities. We focus on the decisive 1994-2003 period when state utility commissions required or pressured utilities to create standalone generation facilities, and thereby almost incidentally standalone distribution systems. The analytical foundation of this study is the measurement of the operating efficiency of 73 distribution units of major U.S. electric utilities in each of those ten years through the use of data envelopment analysis (DEA). Using this panel of data and controlling for other possible influences, we then evaluate the effects on measured efficiency from the divestitures that many of the utilities underwent during the study period. We find that while all divestitures as a group do not significantly affect distribution efficiency, those mandated by state public utility commissions have resulted in large and statistically significant adverse effects on efficiency.

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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 0835.

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Date of creation: Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0835

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

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Keywords: Divestiture; electricity distribution; efficiency analysis;

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References

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  1. Jamasb, T. & Pollitt, M., 2000. "Benchmarking and regulation: international electricity experience," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 107-130, September.
  2. James B. Bushnell & Erin T. Mansur & Celeste Saravia, 2008. "Vertical Arrangements, Market Structure, and Competition: An Analysis of Restructured US Electricity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 237-66, March.
  3. Newbery, D.M. & Pollitt, M.G., 1996. "The Restructuring and Privatisation of the CEGB: Was It Worth It?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9607, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  4. Toru Hattori & Tooraj Jamasb & Michael Pollitt, 2005. "Electricity Distribution in the UK and Japan: A Comparative Efficiency Analysis 1985-1998," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 23-48.
  5. Chen, Andrew H & Merville, Larry J, 1986. " An Analysis of Divestiture Effects Resulting from Deregulation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(5), pages 997-1010, December.
  6. 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.
  7. Nemoto, Jiro & Goto, Mika, 2004. "Technological externalities and economies of vertical integration in the electric utility industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 67-81, January.
  8. Kaserman, David L & Mayo, John W, 1991. "The Measurement of Vertical Economies and the Efficient Structure of the Electric Utility Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(5), pages 483-502, September.
  9. Carrington, Roger & Coelli, Tim & Groom, Eric, 2002. "International Benchmarking for Monopoly Price Regulation: The Case of Australian Gas Distribution," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 191-216, March.
  10. Lee, Byung-Joo, 1995. "Separability Test for the Electricity Supply Industry," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(1), pages 49-60, Jan.-Marc.
  11. Giovanni Fraquelli & Massimiliano Piacenza & Davide Vannoni, 2005. "Cost Savings From Generation and Distribution with an Application to Italian Electric Utilities," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 289-308, November.
  12. Mansur, Erin T, 2007. "Upstream Competition and Vertical Integration in Electricity Markets," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 125-56, February.
  13. Kwoka, John E., 2002. "Vertical economies in electric power: evidence on integration and its alternatives," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 653-671, May.
  14. Machiel Mulder & Victoria Shestalova & Mark Lijesen, 2005. "Vertical separation of the energy-distribution industry; an assessment of several options for unbundling," CPB Document 84, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  15. Myeong-Hyeon Cho & Mark A. Cohen, 1997. "The economic causes and consequences of corporate divestiture," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 367-374.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Nillesen, P. & Pollitt, M.G., 2008. "Ownership unbundling in electricity distribution: empircal evidence from New Zealand," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0836, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  2. Triebs, T.P. & Pollitt, M.G. & Kwoka, J.E., 2010. "The Direct Costs and Benefits of US Electric Utility Divestitures," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1049, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  3. Pollitt, Michael G. & Steer, Steven J., 2012. "Economies of scale and scope in network industries: Lessons for the UK water and sewerage sectors," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 17-31.
  4. Theodore Kury, 2013. "Price effects of independent transmission system operators in the United States electricity market," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 147-167, April.

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