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Do ownership and size affect the performance of water utilities? Evidence from Estonian municipalities

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  • Peeter Peda

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  • Giuseppe Grossi
  • Margo Liik

Abstract

Concerns regarding rising water and sewerage prices have generated a renewed interest in measuring and assessing water utility performance. An efficiency analysis can serve as a basis for price setting decisions. This article examines the influence of ownership structure and corporate size on the efficiency of Estonian water companies, and assesses the empirical efficiency gaps through the lens of corporate governance and natural monopoly theories. To assess efficiency and the influence of ownership and corporate size on efficiency, we use a Data Envelopment Analysis and truncated regression with maximum likelihood estimation as well as an ANOVA test. The study sample consists of 43 water utilities, serving more than 68% of the Estonian population. One main finding of the study reveals that ownership structure does not affect the efficiency of Estonian water utilities, while efficiency does increase with corporate size: large water utilities outperform small utilities. An additional conclusion is that the Estonian water sector is too fragmented. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2013

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  • Peeter Peda & Giuseppe Grossi & Margo Liik, 2013. "Do ownership and size affect the performance of water utilities? Evidence from Estonian municipalities," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 17(2), pages 237-259, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jmgtgv:v:17:y:2013:i:2:p:237-259
    DOI: 10.1007/s10997-011-9173-6
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    Cited by:

    1. Guerrini, Andrea & Romano, Giulia & Mancuso, Fabrizio & Carosi, Laura, 2016. "Identifying the performance drivers of wastewater treatment plants through conditional order-m efficiency analysis," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 20-31.
    2. repec:spr:waterr:v:31:y:2017:i:8:d:10.1007_s11269-016-1495-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:juipol:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:97-108 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Alessandra Allini & Rossi Francesca Manes & Riccardo Macchioni, 2014. "Do Corporate Governance Characteristics Affect Non-Financial Risk Disclosure in Government-owned Companies? The Italian Experience," FINANCIAL REPORTING, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(1), pages 5-31.
    5. Andrea Guerrini & Giulia Romano & Bettina Campedelli, 2013. "Economies of Scale, Scope, and Density in the Italian Water Sector: A Two-Stage Data Envelopment Analysis Approach," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 27(13), pages 4559-4578, October.
    6. Meryem Duygun & Silvia Pazzi & Emili Tortosa-Ausina & Simona Zambelli, 2014. "Does local public ownership matter for the efficiency of water utilities? Evidence from Italy," Working Papers 2014/21, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).

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