Assessing the impact of regulatory reforms on China's electricity generation industry
In the past two decades, China has experienced a series of regulatory reforms in its electricity industry, aimed at improving power production efficiency. The central planning system was broken up and the market-oriented modern enterprise system was established. Furthermore, the former vertically integrated electricity utilities were divested and the generation sector was separated from the transmission and distribution networks. In this paper, we intend to estimate the impact of regulatory reforms on production efficiency of fossil-fired generation plants using the plant-level national survey data collected in 1995 and 2004. Applying the econometric method of Differences-in-Differences, we estimate the effects of these reforms on the demand for inputs of employees, fuel and nonfuel materials. The results show that the net efficiency improvement in labor input associated with the regulatory reforms is roughly 29% and the gains in nonfuel materials are about 35%, while there is no evidence of efficiency gains in fuel input associated with the electricity reforms.
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