IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/juipol/v24y2013icp48-58.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Firm's profitability and regulation in water and network industries: An empirical analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Reynaud, Arnaud
  • Thomas, Alban

Abstract

The profitability of a firm is a highly complex concept, as it results from firms' decisions on investment and production plans, but also from constraints beyond their control (economic regulation, level of competition, economic growth). We analyze the profitability of firms in the water industry by focusing on the impact of economic regulation and the economic environment. The objective is to determine empirical regularities which could explain profitability. Using a panel of firms from developed and transition countries, we show that the profitability of firms in the water sector is in line with that in other network industries. Profitability varies greatly depending on the chosen measure of profitability, firm's size, the economic environment and the characteristics of regulation in place are essential to understand and explain firm's profitability. In particular, being regulated by a price-cap scheme appears to be an important determinant of profitability.

Suggested Citation

  • Reynaud, Arnaud & Thomas, Alban, 2013. "Firm's profitability and regulation in water and network industries: An empirical analysis," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 48-58.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juipol:v:24:y:2013:i:c:p:48-58
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jup.2012.07.002
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0957178712000410
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert Earle & Karl Schmedders & Tymon Tatur, 2007. "On Price Caps Under Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 93-111.
    2. Carvalho, Pedro & Marques, Rui Cunha & Berg, Sanford, 2012. "A meta-regression analysis of benchmarking studies on water utilities market structure," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 40-49.
    3. Asiedu, Elizabeth & Jin, Yi & Nandwa, Boaz, 2009. "Does foreign aid mitigate the adverse effect of expropriation risk on foreign direct investment?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 268-275, July.
    4. Lars P. Feld & Jost H. Heckemeyer, 2011. "Fdi And Taxation: A Meta‐Study," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(2), pages 233-272, April.
    5. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2005. "Regulation And Investment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(4), pages 791-825, June.
    6. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743.
    7. Jonathan Thomas & Tim Worrall, 1994. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Risk of Expropriation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 81-108.
    8. Balazs Egert, 2009. "Infrastructure investment in network industries: The role of incentive regulation and regulatory independence," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp956, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    9. Massimo Filippini & Nevenka Hrovatin & Jelena Zorić, 2008. "Cost efficiency of Slovenian water distribution utilities: an application of stochastic frontier methods," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 169-182, April.
    10. William J. Baumol & Alvin K. Klevorick, 1970. "Input Choices and Rate-of Return Regulation: An Overview of the Discussion," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 1(2), pages 162-190, Autumn.
    11. Rogerson, William P, 1997. "Intertemporal Cost Allocation and Managerial Investment Incentives: A Theory Explaining the Use of Economic Value Added as a Performance Measure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 770-795, August.
    12. Spiegel, Yossef, 1994. "The Capital Structure and Investment of Regulated Firms under Alternative Regulatory Regimes," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 297-319, September.
    13. Schmalensee, Richard, 1989. "An Expository Note on Depreciation and Profitability under Rate-of-Return Regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 293-298, September.
    14. Graeme Guthrie, 2006. "Regulating Infrastructure: The Impact on Risk and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(4), pages 925-972, December.
    15. Takahashi, Kichinosuke & Kurokawa, Yukiharu & Watase, Kazunori, 1984. "Corporate bankruptcy prediction in Japan," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 229-247, June.
    16. Kristof Witte & David Saal, 2010. "Is a little sunshine all we need? On the impact of sunshine regulation on profits, productivity and prices in the Dutch drinking water sector," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 219-242, June.
    17. Garcia, Serge & Reynaud, Arnaud, 2004. "Estimating the benefits of efficient water pricing in France," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-25, March.
    18. William P. Rogerson, 2008. "Intertemporal Cost Allocation and Investment Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(5), pages 931-950, October.
    19. Cécile Aubert & Arnaud Reynaud, 2005. "The Impact of Regulation on Cost Efficiency: An Empirical Analysis of Wisconsin Water Utilities," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 383-409, July.
    20. Bernardo Bortolotti & Carlo Cambini & Laura Rondi & Yossi Spiegel, 2011. "Capital Structure and Regulation: Do Ownership and Regulatory Independence Matter?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 517-564, June.
    21. Guthrie, Graeme, 2006. "Regulating Infrastructure: The Impact on Risk and Investment," Working Paper Series 3851, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
    22. Ferro, Gustavo & Romero, Carlos A. & Covelli, María Paula, 2011. "Regulation and performance: A production frontier estimate for the Latin American water and sanitation sector," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 211-217.
    23. Balazs Egert, 2009. "Infrastructure investment in network industries: The role of incentive regulation and regulatory independence," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp956, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    24. David S Saal & David Parker, 2000. "The impact of privatization and regulation on the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales: a translog cost function model," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(6), pages 253-268.
    25. Parker, David, 1997. "Price cap regulation, profitability and returns to investors in the UK regulated industries," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 303-315, December.
    26. Ellen M. Pint, 1992. "Price-Cap versus Rate-of-Return Regulation in a Stochastic-Cost Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(4), pages 564-578, Winter.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. James A. C. Ryan & Matthew C. Ives & Ian M. Dunham, 2019. "The impact of cost of capital reductions on regulated water utilities in England and Wales: an analysis of isomorphism and stakeholder outcomes," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 23(1), pages 259-287, March.
    2. Lee, Changyen & Cheng, Chun-Fa & Chuang, Min-Ta & Hsu, Wei-Chieh & Chen, Yen-Hung & Cheng, Kuo-Tai, 2018. "How transparency and accountability matter in regulating the Taiwan Water Supply Corporation," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 50-58.
    3. Ferreira Savoia, José Roberto & Securato, José Roberto & Bergmann, Daniel Reed & Lopes da Silva, Fabiana, 2019. "Comparing results of the implied cost of capital and capital asset pricing models for infrastructure firms in Brazil," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 149-158.
    4. Isaac Kwame Essien Obeng, 2016. "Delaying payments after the financial crisis: evidence from EU companies," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2016-66, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    5. Romano, Giulia & Guerrini, Andrea, 2014. "The effects of ownership, board size and board composition on the performance of Italian water utilities," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 18-28.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Water utilities; Network industries; Regulation; Profitability; ROE; Net margin;

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • L9 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:juipol:v:24:y:2013:i:c:p:48-58. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30478 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.