Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Productivity in Electricity, Gas and Water: Measurement and Interpretation

Contents:

Author Info

  • Topp, Vernon

    (Productivity Commission)

  • Kulys, Tony

    (Productivity Commission)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    This staff working paper examines productivity trends in the Australian utilities industry and highlights some significant issues relating to the measurement and interpretation of changes in measured productivity over time. Multifactor productivity (MFP) growth in Australia's market sector has been considerably below average since 2003-04. Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste services), have played a significant role in this, with MFP growth being strongly negative between 1997-98 and 2009-10 (MFP falling, on average, by 3.2 per cent per year). To better understand why, this study examined MFP at the subdivision level, with a particular focus on the two largest subdivisions - Electricity supply (ES), and Water supply, sewerage and drainage services (WSSD). MFP growth between 1997-98 and 2009-10 was negative for both ES (on average, -2.7 per cent per year) and WSSD (-4.3 per cent per year). This study highlights some of the challenges involved in measuring and interpreting estimates of MFP growth in utilities. A particular concern is the influence of changes in capacity utilisation arising from either cyclical investment patterns, or changes in the structure of electricity demand. Also, government policies, regulatory settings and external shocks (especially the weather) can impact on the quantity or quality of measured output, and on the choice of production technology, thereby influencing estimates of MFP. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Productivity Commission, or of the organisations or people who provided assistance.

    Download Info

    If 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.
    File URL: http://www.pc.gov.au/research/staff-working/electricity-gas-water
    File Function: Web page access to report PDF and Word files.
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Productivity Commission, Government of Australia in its series Staff Working Papers with number 121.

    as in new window
    Length: 178 pages
    Date of creation: 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ris:prodsw:2012_001

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Level 28, 35 Collins St, Melbourne Victoria 3000
    Phone: 61 3 9653 2100
    Fax: 61 3 9653 2199
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.pc.gov.au/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: productivity trends; measured productivity; utilities industry; electricity; gas; water; multifactor productivity (MFP);

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ris:prodsw:2012_001. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (MAPS).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.