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The Estimation of an Average Cost Frontier to Calculate Benchmark Tariffs for Electricity Distribution

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  • Massimo Filippini

    ()
    (Centre for Energy Policy and Economics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich)

  • Joerg Wild

    (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

Abstract

In this paper we have examined the scale and cost inefficiency of a sample of Swiss electricity distribution utilities. To do so, we have considered estimation of a stochastic frontier average cost model using the approach suggested by Schmidt and Sickles (1984) for panel data. A translog cost function was estimated using panel data for a sample of 30 municipal utilities over the period 1992-1996. The results indicate the existence of economies of output and customer density and economies of scale. Moreover, the findings on cost inefficiency show that a majority of the distribution utilities is not producing at the minimum level of the cost and that a possible application of the frontier methodology employed in this paper relates to the regulation and benchmarking of the delivery rates.

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File URL: http://www.soi.uzh.ch/research/wp/1997-2002/wp9803.pdf
File Function: First version, 1998
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich in its series SOI - Working Papers with number 9803.

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Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: Sep 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:9803

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Related research

Keywords: electricity; cost frontier; benchmarking; Switzerland;

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References

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  1. Simar, L., 1991. "Estimating efficiencies from frontier models with panel data: a comparison of parametric, non-parametric and semi-parametric methods with boot strapping," CORE Discussion Papers 1991026, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Randy A. Nelson. & Walter J. Primeaux, Jr., 1988. "The Effects of Competition on Transmission and Distribution Costs in the Municipal Electric Industry," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 64(4), pages 338-346.
  3. Hsiao,Cheng, 2003. "Analysis of Panel Data," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521818551, November.
  4. Battese, George E., 1992. "Frontier production functions and technical efficiency: a survey of empirical applications in agricultural economics," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 7(3-4), pages 185-208, October.
  5. Paul W. Bauer, 1988. "Decomposing TFP growth in the presence of cost inefficiency, nonconstant returns to scale, and technological progress," Working Paper 8813, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  6. Filippini, Massimo & Maggi, Rico, 1993. "Efficiency and Regulation in the Case of the Swiss Private Railways," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 199-216, June.
  7. Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C, 1984. "Production Frontiers and Panel Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(4), pages 367-74, October.
  8. Burns, Philip & Weyman-Jones, Thomas G, 1996. "Cost Functions and Cost Efficiency in Electricity Distribution: A Stochastic Frontier Approach," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 41-64, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Jamasb, Tooraj & Nillesen, Paul & Pollitt, Michael, 2004. "Strategic behaviour under regulatory benchmarking," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 825-843, September.
  2. Jamasb, T. & Nillesen, P. & Pollitt, M., 2003. "Strategic Behaviour under Regulation Benchmarking," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0312, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

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