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The impact of governance structure on firm performance: An application to the German water distribution sector

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  • Ruester, Sophia
  • Zschille, Michael

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of governance structure on firm performance (i.e., retail prices) using a database of 765 German water suppliers. Controlling for scale economies as well as technical and structural characteristics, we find that private sector participation is accompanied with higher retail prices. Furthermore, Eastern states on average feature higher prices mirroring significant investments during the past two decades as well as network over-dimension. Assuming that managers make strategic decisions (e.g., governance form) not randomly but rather decide based on expectations of how their choices affect future performance, we test for this self-selection applying a two-stage model.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruester, Sophia & Zschille, Michael, 2010. "The impact of governance structure on firm performance: An application to the German water distribution sector," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 154-162, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juipol:v:18:y:2010:i:3:p:154-162
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Guasch, J. Luis & Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Straub, Stéphane, 2008. "Renegotiation of concession contracts in Latin America: Evidence from the water and transport sectors," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 421-442, March.
    2. Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1996. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1778, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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    6. Walter, Matthias & Cullmann, Astrid & von Hirschhausen, Christian & Wand, Robert & Zschille, Michael, 2009. "Quo vadis efficiency analysis of water distribution? A comparative literature review," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, pages 225-232.
    7. Isabel M. García-Sánchez, 2006. "Efficiency Measurement in Spanish Local Government: The Case of Municipal Water Services," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 23(2), pages 355-372, March.
    8. Eshien Chong & Freddy Huet & Stéphane Saussier & Faye Steiner, 2006. "Public-Private Partnerships and Prices: Evidence from Water Distribution in France," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 29(1), pages 149-169, September.
    9. Bhattacharyya, Arunava & Harris, Thomas R. & Narayanan, Rangesan & Raffiee, Kambiz, 1995. "Specification and estimation of the effect of ownership on the economic efficiency of the water utilities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 759-784, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. García-Valiñas, Maria A. & Gonzales, Francisco & Suarez, Javier & Zaporozhets, Vera, 2015. "Private Sector Involvement in Water Services: Theoretical Foundations and Empirical Evidence," TSE Working Papers 15-590, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    2. Fernando Antonio Perrone Pinheiro & José Roberto Ferreira Savoia & Claudio Felisoni de Angelo, 2016. "A Comparative Analysis of the Public and Private Water Supply and Sanitation Service Providers’ Work in Brazil," Brazilian Business Review, Fucape Business School, pages 115-136.
    3. repec:eee:juipol:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:166-175 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Barbosa, Alexandro & Lima, Severino Cesário de & Brusca, Isabel, 2016. "Governance and efficiency in the Brazilian water utilities: A dynamic analysis in the process of universal access," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, pages 82-96.
    5. repec:spr:waterr:v:31:y:2017:i:8:d:10.1007_s11269-016-1355-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Suárez-Varela, Marta & Martínez-Espiñeira, Roberto & González-Gómez, Francisco, 2015. "An analysis of the price escalation of non-linear water tariffs for domestic uses in Spain," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, pages 82-93.
    7. Michael Klien, 2014. "Corporatization and the Behavior of Public Firms: How Shifting Control Rights Affects Political Interference in Water Prices," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 44(4), pages 393-422, June.
    8. Miguel García-Rubio & Cecilia Tortajada & Francisco González-Gómez, 2016. "Privatising Water Utilities and User Perception of Tap Water Quality: Evidence from Spanish Urban Water Services," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 30(1), pages 315-329, January.
    9. Ernest Miguélez & Rosina Moreno, 2013. "Research Networks and Inventors' Mobility as Drivers of Innovation: Evidence from Europe," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(10), pages 1668-1685, November.
    10. Miguel A. García-Rubio & Cecilia Tortajada & Francisco González-Gómez, 2016. "Privatising Water Utilities and User Perception of Tap Water Quality: Evidence from Spanish Urban Water Services," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 30(1), pages 315-329, January.
    11. Michael Zschille, 2016. "Cost Structure and Economies of Scale in German Water Supply," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1576, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    12. García-Valiñas, María de los Ángeles & González-Gómez, Francisco & Picazo-Tadeo, Andrés J., 2013. "Is the price of water for residential use related to provider ownership? Empirical evidence from Spain," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, pages 59-69.
    13. Barbosa, Alexandro & Brusca, Isabel, 2015. "Governance structures and their impact on tariff levels of Brazilian water and sanitation corporations," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, pages 94-105.

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