The Impact of Ownership Unbundling on Cost Efficiency: Empirical Evidence from the New Zealand Electricity Distribution Sector
AbstractSeveral countries around the world have introduced reforms to the electric power sector. One important element of these reforms is the introduction of an unbundling process, i.e., the separation of the competitive activities of supply and production from the monopole activity of transmission and distribution of electricity. There are several forms of unbundling: functional, legal and ownership. New Zealand, for instance, adopted an ownership unbundling in 1998. As discussed in the literature, ownership unbundling produces benefits and costs. One of the benefits may be an improvement in the level of the productive efficiency of the companies due to the use of the inputs in just one activity and a greater level of transparency for the regulator. This paper analyzes the cost efficiency of 28 electricity distribution companies in New Zealand for the period between 1996 and 2011. Using a stochastic frontier panel data model, a total cost function and a variable cost function are estimated in order to evaluate the impact of ownership unbundling on the level of cost efficiency. The results indicate that ownership separation of electricity generation and retail operations from the distribution network has a positive effect on the cost efficiency of distribution companies in New Zealand. The estimated effect of ownership separation suggests a positive average one-off shift of 23 percent in the level of cost efficiency in the shortrun and 15 percent in the long-run.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln in its series EWI Working Papers with number 2013-6.
Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: 10 Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Vogelsanger Str. 321, Alte Wagenfabrik, 50827 Köln
Phone: ++ 49 (0) 221 277 29 100
Fax: ++ 49 (0) 221 277 29 400
Web page: http://www.ewi.uni-koeln.de/
More information through EDIRC
Electricity distribution; Ownership separation; Cost efficiency; Total cost function; Variable cost function; Stochastic frontier analysis;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
- L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
- L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-04-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-COM-2013-04-27 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-EFF-2013-04-27 (Efficiency & Productivity)
- NEP-ENE-2013-04-27 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-REG-2013-04-27 (Regulation)
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 Nooij, Michiel & Baarsma, Barbara, 2009. "Divorce comes at a price: An ex ante welfare analysis of ownership unbundling of the distribution and commercial companies in the Dutch energy sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5449-5458, December.
- Farsi, Mehdi & Filippini, Massimo, 2009.
"An analysis of cost efficiency in Swiss multi-utilities,"
Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 306-315, March.
- Mehdi Farsi & Massimo Filippini, 2008. "An Analysis of Cost-Efficiency in Swiss Multi-utilities," CEPE Working paper series 08-60, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
- Zhu, Xueqin & Karagiannis, Giannis & Oude Lansink, Alfons G.J.M., 2008. "Analyzing the impact of direct subsidies on the performance of the Greek Olive Farms with a non-monotonic efficiency effects model," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 43612, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
- Greene, William, 2005. "Reconsidering heterogeneity in panel data estimators of the stochastic frontier model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 269-303, June.
- Pollitt, M., 2007.
"The arguments for and against ownership unbundling of energy transmission networks,"
Cambridge Working Papers in Economics
0737, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- Pollitt, Michael, 2008. "The arguments for and against ownership unbundling of energy transmission networks," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 704-713, February.
- Yanrui Wu & Xunpeng Shi & Fukunari Kimura & Yu Sheng & Youngho Chang & Yanfei Li & Sun Xuegong & Guo Liyan & Zeng Zheng & Daisy Shen & Qing Yang & Kongchheng Poch & Savong Tuy & Sekar Utami Setiastuti, . "Energy Market Integration in East Asia: Theories, Electricity Sector and Subsidies," Books, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), number 2011-rpr-17 edited by Yanrui Wu & Xunpeng Shi & Fukunari Kimura, August.
- Ramos-Real, Francisco Javier, 2005. "Cost functions and the electric utility industry. A contribution to the debate on deregulation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 69-87, January.
- 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.
- Paul Nillesen & Michael Pollitt, 2011. "Ownership Unbundling in Electricity Distribution: Empirical Evidence from New Zealand," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 61-93, January.
- Fetz, Aurelio & Filippini, Massimo, 2010. "Economies of vertical integration in the Swiss electricity sector," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1325-1330, November.
- Federico Belotti & Silvio Daidone & Giuseppe Ilardi & Vincenzo Atella, 2012.
"Stochastic frontier analysis using Stata,"
CEIS Research Paper
251, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 13 Sep 2012.
- Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Swanson, Joseph A, 1981. "Productivity Growth, Scale Economies, and Capacity Utilization in U.S. Railroads, 1955-74," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 994-1002, December.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Monika Schmid).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.