Cost Efficiency and Subsidization in German Local Public Bus Transit
AbstractSubsidies are considered important means to facilitate the provision of public transit, yet the empirical evidence implies that they can have harming effects on costs and possibly also on operators' performance. This paper examines the impacts of deficit-balancing subsidies on the cost inefficiency of local public bus companies in Germany, where a complex system allocates ample financial support. Our empirical analysis relies on a unique dataset of 33 companies observed over a period of up to twelve years for a total of 231 observations. We employ a stochastic frontier cost function for panel data that account for unobserved heterogeneity and provide firm-specific, time-varying inefficiency estimates. Further, we allow variations in the optimal technology by randomizing some cost functions' coefficients in one of our model specifications. Subsidies directly enter the inefficiency function as a heteroscedastic variable. We find a positive effect of subsidies on the standard deviation of inefficiency, which implies that the range of companies' inefficiency increases with the level of subsidies relative to total costs. However, we also find that non-subsidized firms perform better in terms of cost efficiency.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 1071.
Length: 20 p.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Stochastic cost frontier; subsidies; heteroscedasticity; local public bus transportation; cost efficiency; panel data;
Other versions of this item:
- Nieswand, Maria & Walter, Matthias, 2013. "Cost Efficiency and Subsidization in German Local Public Bus Transit," CEPR Discussion Papers 9346, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
- D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
- L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-10-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-EFF-2010-10-23 (Efficiency & Productivity)
- NEP-URE-2010-10-23 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- De Borger B. & Kerstens K. & Costa A., 2000. "Public transport performance: what do we learn from frontier studies?," Working Papers 2000019, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
- Drevs, Florian & Tscheulin, Dieter K. & Lindenmeier, Jörg & Renner, Simone, 2014. "Crowding-in or crowding out: An empirical analysis on the effect of subsidies on individual willingness-to-pay for public transportation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 250-261.
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