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How do governance factors affect inefficiency? Stochastic frontier analysis of public utility firms in Japan

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  • Fumitoshi Mizutani

    () (Kobe University)

  • Eri Nakamura

    () (Kobe University
    Vienna University of Economics and Business)

Abstract

Abstract The main purpose of this study is to investigate how governance factors affect technical inefficiency in public utility firms. Inefficiency analysis in public utilities so far has focused mainly on industry-level treatments such as competition policy and regulations. However, since these industry-level treatments incur significant government costs and are difficult to monitor closely, management-level corporate governance, which has been widely discussed in private firms, has been attracting increased attention in recent years. In our analysis, we examine the effects of various shareholders as governance actors on technical inefficiency in public utilities. By using a panel data of 369 Japanese firms in seven public utilities from 1989 to 2015, we estimate the stochastic frontier production function. The main findings are as follows: (1) some governance factors clearly reduce inefficiency; as ownership by domestic companies and individual shareholders increases, the technical inefficiency of a public utility firm decreases. (2) However, we cannot determine the effects of foreign shareholders and financial institutions. These actors can have different effects depending on the situation. (3) Industry-level factors such as regulation and competition are shown to increase inefficiency. This indicates that conventional industry-level involvement is no longer effective in public utilities and that in the efficiency analysis more attention must be paid to the managerial improvement of public utilities.

Suggested Citation

  • Fumitoshi Mizutani & Eri Nakamura, 2017. "How do governance factors affect inefficiency? Stochastic frontier analysis of public utility firms in Japan," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 44(3), pages 267-289, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:epolin:v:44:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s40812-016-0066-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s40812-016-0066-1
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    Cited by:

    1. Eri Nakamura & Fumitoshi Mizutani, 2019. "Necessary demand and extra demand of public utility product: identification using the stochastic frontier model," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 46(1), pages 45-64, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Stochastic frontier analysis; Corporate governance; Diversification strategy; Regulation; Competition; Public utility firms;

    JEL classification:

    • M11 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Production Management
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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