IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/regeco/v35y2009i2p201-221.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Technology and incentive regulation in the Italian motorways industry

Author

Listed:
  • Luigi Benfratello

    ()

  • Alberto Iozzi

    ()

  • Paola Valbonesi

    ()

Abstract

The Italian highway industry has undergone an institutional and regulatory reform through the last decade, characterised by changes in ownership and a new price cap framework. To assess the effect of the reforms on firms’ performance, we use information on all the 20 Italian concessionaires over the 1992-2003 period and 1) estimate the technical progress in the industry, thereby providing a reference value for the X factor in the price cap formula; 2) assess the relative productivity of private vs. public concessionaires; 3) evaluate whether price cap regulation has induced firms to use resources efficiently, 4) determine the possible effect of the inclusion of the quality index in the price cap formula. We find that the introduction of a price cap regime does not increase firms’ productivity whereas a sharp increase in maintenance costs is recorded, arguably due to the quality indicator in the price cap formula. Furthermore, firms appear to have gained from the privatisation process and from a technical progress occurred in the period. We also find high density economies and a steady and large increase in traffic. Overall, these results suggest that the X factor has been set too conservatively in past years which in turn explains the high profits recorded by franchisees under price cap regulation.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Luigi Benfratello & Alberto Iozzi & Paola Valbonesi, 2009. "Technology and incentive regulation in the Italian motorways industry," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 201-221, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:35:y:2009:i:2:p:201-221
    DOI: 10.1007/s11149-008-9077-9
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11149-008-9077-9
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ying, John S & Shin, Richard T, 1993. "Costly Gains to Breaking Up: LECs and the Baby Bells," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 357-361, May.
    2. Majumdar, Sumit K, 1997. "Incentive Regulation and Productive Efficiency in the U.S. Telecommunications Industry," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70(4), pages 547-576, October.
    3. Jamasb, Tooraj & Nillesen, Paul & Pollitt, Michael, 2004. "Strategic behaviour under regulatory benchmarking," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 825-843, September.
    4. Anna Matas & José-Luis Raymond, 2002. "The demand elasticity on tolled motorways," Working Papers wp0203, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    5. Resende, Marcelo, 1999. "Productivity growth and regulation in U.S. local telephony," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 23-44, March.
    6. Armstrong, Mark & Sappington, David E.M., 2007. "Recent Developments in the Theory of Regulation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
    7. Greenstein, Shane & McMaster, Susan & Spiller, Pablo T, 1995. "The Effect of Incentive Regulation on Infrastructure Modernization: Local Exchange Companies' Deployment of Digital Technology," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 187-236, Summer.
    8. Gianni De Fraja & Alberto Iozzi, 2008. "The Quest for Quality: A Quality Adjusted Dynamic Regulatory Mechanism," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(4), pages 1011-1040, December.
    9. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Kridel, Donald J & Sappington, David E M & Weisman, Dennis L, 1996. "The Effects of Incentive Regulation in the Telecommunications Industry: A Survey," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 269-306, May.
    11. Bernstein, Jeffrey I & Sappington, David E M, 1999. "Setting the X Factor in Price-Cap Regulation Plans," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 5-25, July.
    12. Tracy R. Lewis & David E.M. Sappington, 1989. "Regulatory Options and Price-Cap Regulation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(3), pages 405-416, Autumn.
    13. Link, Heike, 2006. "An econometric analysis of motorway renewal costs in Germany," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 19-34, January.
    14. David Sibley, 1989. "Asymmetric Information, Incentives and Price-Cap Regulation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(3), pages 392-404, Autumn.
    15. Cabral, Luis M B & Riordan, Michael H, 1989. "Incentives for Cost Reduction under Price Cap Regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 93-102, June.
    16. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta, 2003. "Regulation, productivity and growth: OECD evidence," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(36), pages 9-72, April.
    17. David Levinson & David Gillen, 1997. "The Full Cost of Intercity Highway Transportation," Working Papers 199704, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    18. Giorgio Ragazzi, 2004. "Politiche per la regolamentazione del settore autostradale e il finanziamento delle infrastrutture," ECONOMIA PUBBLICA, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2004(4).
    19. Marco Ponti, 2004. "Autostrade: considerazioni aggiuntive di un ex regolatore," ECONOMIA PUBBLICA, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2004(4).
    20. Ai, Chunrong & Sappington, David E M, 2002. "The Impact of State Incentive Regulation on the U.S. Telecommunications Industry," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 133-159, September.
    21. David Sappington, 2005. "Regulating Service Quality: A Survey," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 123-154, November.
    22. Laura Rovizzi & David Thompson, 1992. "The regulation of product quality in the public utilities and the Citizen's Charter," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 13(3), pages 74-95, August.
    23. Alberto Iozzi, 2002. "La riforma della regolamentazione del settore autostradale," ECONOMIA PUBBLICA, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2002(4).
    24. Resende, Marcelo, 2000. "Regulatory Regimes and Efficiency in US Local Telephony," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 447-470, July.
    25. Vogelsang, Ingo, 2002. "Incentive Regulation and Competition in Public Utility Markets: A 20-Year Perspective," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 5-27, July.
    26. Heyes, Anthony G. & Liston-Heyes, Catherine, 1998. "Price-cap regulation and technical change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 137-151, April.
    27. Christopher R. Knittel, 2002. "Alternative Regulatory Methods And Firm Efficiency: Stochastic Frontier Evidence From The U.S. Electricity Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 530-540, August.
    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. Daniel Albalate & Jordi Rosell, 2016. "Persistent and transient efficiency on the stochastic production and cost frontiers – an application to the motorway sector," Working Papers XREAP2016-04, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Oct 2016.
    2. Welde, Morten & Odeck, James, 2011. "The efficiency of Norwegian road toll companies," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 162-171.
    3. Guerriero, Carmine, 2013. "The political economy of incentive regulation: Theory and evidence from US states," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 91-107.
    4. Elisabetta Iossa, 2015. "Contract and procurement design for PPPs in highways: the road ahead," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 42(3), pages 245-276, September.
    5. Sarmento, Joaquim Miranda & Renneboog, Luc & Verga-Matos, Pedro, 2017. "Measuring highway efficiency : A DEA approach and the Malquist index," Other publications TiSEM 23264815-321e-45a3-83ee-9, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Massiani, Jerome & Ragazzi, Giorgio, 2008. "Costs and efficiency of highway concessionaires: a survey of Italian operators," European Transport \ Trasporti Europei, ISTIEE, Institute for the Study of Transport within the European Economic Integration, issue 38, pages 85-106.
    7. Asquer, Alberto, 2011. "Liberalization and regulatory reform of network industries: A comparative analysis of Italian public utilities," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 172-184.
    8. Laurino, Antonio & Grimaldi, Raffaele, 2010. "The process of highway privatization in Italy and Japan," MPRA Paper 29146, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incentive regulation; Technology; Motorways industry; L52; L92;

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation

    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:kap:regeco:v:35:y:2009:i:2:p:201-221. 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: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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.