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Regulation and efficiency: the case of European railways

  • Cantos, Pedro
  • Maudos, Joaqui­n

During the long period of regulation of the railway system in Europe (1950s-1990s) the companies notably improved their levels of productivity. However, parallel to this, the state of their financial accounts also significantly worsened. In order to explain this fact we have estimated both cost and revenue frontier functions, calculating the losses associated with both cost and revenue inefficiencies as well as inefficiencies on the cost side. The results obtained show the existence of significant potential losses of revenue, which can be explained above all by the strong policy of regulation and intervention reigning in this period. A better commercial policy and a supply adapted to market conditions seem to be two unavoidable requisites for the future of European rail policy if the companies' financial burdens are to be reduced.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

Volume (Year): 35 (2001)
Issue (Month): 5 (June)
Pages: 459-472

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Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:35:y:2001:i:5:p:459-472
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  1. Allen N. Berger & Loretta J. Mester, 1997. "Inside the black box: what explains differences in the efficiencies of financial institutions?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Pedro Cantos & José Pastor & Lorenzo Serrano, 1999. "Productivity, efficiency and technical change in the European railways: A non-parametric approach," Transportation, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 337-357, November.
  3. Pulley, Lawrence B & Braunstein, Yale M, 1992. "A Composite Cost Function for Multiproduct Firms with an Application to Economies of Scope in Banking," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(2), pages 221-30, May.
  4. FitzRoy, Felix & Smith, Ian, 1995. "The demand for rail transport in European countries," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 153-158, July.
  5. Bauer, Paul W., 1990. "Recent developments in the econometric estimation of frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 39-56.
  6. Gathon, H. -J. & Pestieau, P., 1995. "Decomposing efficiency into its managerial and its regulatory components: The case of European railways," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 500-507, February.
  7. Berger, Allen N. & Humphrey, David B. & Pulley, Lawrence B., 1996. "Do consumers pay for one-stop banking? Evidence from an alternative revenue function," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(9), pages 1601-1621, November.
  8. Rogers, Kevin E., 1998. "Nontraditional activities and the efficiency of US commercial banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 467-482, May.
  9. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
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