Cost function estimates, scale economies and technological progress in the Turkish electricity generation sector
Turkish electricity sector has undergone significant institutional changes since 1984. The recent developments since 2001 including the setting up of a regulatory agency to undertake the regulation of the sector and increasing participation of private investors in the field of electricity generation are of special interest. This paper estimates cost functions and investigates the degree of scale economies, overinvestment, and technological progress in the Turkish electricity generation sector for the period 1984-2006 using long-run and short-run translog cost functions. Estimations were done for six groups of firms, public and private. The results indicate existence of scale economies throughout the period of analysis, hence declining long-run average costs. The paper finds empirical support for the Averch-Johnson effect until 2001, i.e., firms overinvested in an environment where there are excess returns to capital. But this effect was reduced largely after 2002. Technological progress deteriorated slightly from 1984-1993 to 1994-2001 but improved after 2002. Overall, the paper found that regulation of the market under the newly established regulating agency after 2002 was effective and there are potential gains from such regulation.
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