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Is a little sunshine all we need? On the impact of sunshine regulation on profits, productivity and prices in the Dutch drinking water sector

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  • Kristof Witte

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  • David Saal

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the conduct of publicly owned monopolistic utilities regulated by a voluntary sunshine regulatory model (i.e. publication of the performances of utilities). In particular, we examine the behaviour of Dutch drinking water utilities before and after the introduction of the sunshine regulation. As during the period 1992-2006 several alternative regulatory reforms including privatization, yardstick competition and profit regulation were also seriously considered, we examine how the discussion and possible implementation of these reforms influenced the behaviour of the utilities. By decomposing profit change into its economic drivers (quantity effect, price effect, operating efficiency, technical progress, scale, etc.), our results suggest that in an appropriate political and institutional context, sunshine regulation can be an effective and appropriate mean of insuring that publicly organised services are efficiently and profitably provided. In methodological terms, the profit decomposition is extended to robust (i.e. allowing for stochastic elements) and conditional (i.e. accounting for heterogeneity) non-parametric efficiency measures.
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Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:37:y:2010:i:3:p:219-242
    DOI: 10.1007/s11149-009-9112-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fried, Harold O. & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Shelton S. (ed.), 2008. "The Measurement of Productive Efficiency and Productivity Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195183528.
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    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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Antonio Estache & Emili Grifell-Tatjé, 2010. "Assessing the impact of Mali's water privatization across stakeholders," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2010-037, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Driffield, Nigel L. & Mickiewicz, Tomasz & Temouri, Yama, 2013. "Institutional reforms, productivity and profitability: From rents to competition?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 583-600.
    3. 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.
    4. 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, vol. 17(3-4), pages 225-232, September.
    5. Romano, Giulia & Guerrini, Andrea & Campedelli, Bettina, 2015. "The new Italian water tariff method: A launching point for novel infrastructures or a backwards step?," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 45-53.
    6. repec:eee:ecosys:v:41:y:2017:i:2:p:179-202 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Barbosa, Alexandro & Brusca, Isabel, 2015. "Governance structures and their impact on tariff levels of Brazilian water and sanitation corporations," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 94-105.
    8. Mellah, Thuraya & Ben Amor, Tawfik, 2016. "Performance of the Tunisian Water Utility: An input-distance function approach," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 18-32.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Regulation; Drinking water utilities; Profit decomposition; Data Envelopment Analysis; C14; L33; L51; L95;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L95 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities

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