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From transition to competition


  • Astrid Cullmann
  • Christian von Hirschhausen


In this paper, we test the hypothesis that the economic transition toward a market economy increases the efficiency of firms. We study 32 Polish electricity distribution companies between 1997 and 2002, by applying common benchmarking methods to the panel: the non-parametric data envelopment analysis (DEA), the free disposal hull (FDH), and, as a parametric approach, the stochastic frontier analysis (SFA). We then measure and decompose productivity change with Malmquist indices. We find that the technical efficiency of the companies has indeed increased during the transition, while allocative efficiency has deteriorated. We also find significantly increasing returns to scale, suggesting that the regulatory authority should allow companies to merge into larger units. Copyright (c) 2008 The Authors.

Suggested Citation

  • Astrid Cullmann & Christian von Hirschhausen, 2008. "From transition to competition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 16(2), pages 335-357, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:16:y:2008:i:2:p:335-357

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bauer, Paul W. & Berger, Allen N. & Ferrier, Gary D. & Humphrey, David B., 1998. "Consistency Conditions for Regulatory Analysis of Financial Institutions: A Comparison of Frontier Efficiency Methods," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 85-114, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tooraj Jamasb & Rabindra Nepal & Govinda Timilsina & Michael Toman, 2014. "Energy Sector Reform, Economic Efficiency and Poverty Reduction," Discussion Papers Series 529, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    2. Jamasb,Tooraj & Nepal,Rabindra & Timilsina,Govinda R., 2015. "A quarter century effort yet to come of age : a survey of power sector reforms in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7330, The World Bank.
    3. Cronin, Francis J. & Motluk, Stephen, 2011. "Ten years after restructuring: Degraded distribution reliability and regulatory failure in Ontario," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 235-243.
    4. Nepal, Rabindra & Foster, John, 2015. "Electricity networks privatization in Australia: An overview of the debate," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 12-24.
    5. Hess, Borge & Cullmann, Astrid, 2007. "Efficiency analysis of East and West German electricity distribution companies - Do the "Ossis" really beat the "Wessis"?," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 206-214, September.
    6. Kuosmanen, Timo, 2012. "Stochastic semi-nonparametric frontier estimation of electricity distribution networks: Application of the StoNED method in the Finnish regulatory model," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 2189-2199.
    7. Ertürk, Mehmet & Türüt-AsIk, Serap, 2011. "Efficiency analysis of Turkish natural gas distribution companies by using data envelopment analysis method," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1426-1438, March.
    8. Astrid Cullmann, 2012. "Benchmarking and firm heterogeneity: a latent class analysis for German electricity distribution companies," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 147-169, February.
    9. Arcos-Vargas, A. & Núñez-Hernández, F. & Villa-Caro, Gabriel, 2017. "A DEA analysis of electricity distribution in Spain: An industrial policy recommendation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 583-592.

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