IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/waterr/v27y2013i13p4559-4578.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Economies of Scale, Scope, and Density in the Italian Water Sector: A Two-Stage Data Envelopment Analysis Approach

Author

Listed:
  • Andrea Guerrini

    ()

  • Giulia Romano
  • Bettina Campedelli

Abstract

Public utilities could improve their efficiency by pursuing specific strategies, such as growth, diversification of investments, or serving mainly high densely areas. For example, in the water sector, economies of scope and scale both appear possible, but extant literature does not offer clear or consensual findings. To address this lack of clarity, this article investigates the potential for efficiency improvement in the diverse Italian water sector, which comprises utilities of various sizes, operating in areas with various population densities and organized as mono- or multi-utilities. Technical and financial data from 64 different utilities were collected and then analyzed with a two-stage data envelopment analysis approach to reveal the impacts of different operational and exogenous variables on efficiency, including firm size, the degree of investment diversification, and customer density. The results obtained confirm the existence of all three types of economies (scale, scope and density), albeit with different impacts for each DEA score. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:waterr:v:27:y:2013:i:13:p:4559-4578
    DOI: 10.1007/s11269-013-0426-9
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11269-013-0426-9
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Carvalho, Pedro & Marques, Rui Cunha & Berg, Sanford, 2012. "A meta-regression analysis of benchmarking studies on water utilities market structure," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 40-49.
    2. Byrnes, Joel & Crase, Lin & Dollery, Brian & Villano, Renato, 2010. "The relative economic efficiency of urban water utilities in regional New South Wales and Victoria," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 439-455, August.
    3. E L Lynk, 1993. "Privatisation, joint production and the comparative efficiencies of private and public ownership: the UK water industry case," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 14(2), pages 98-116, May.
    4. Romano, Giulia & Guerrini, Andrea, 2011. "Measuring and comparing the efficiency of water utility companies: A data envelopment analysis approach," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 202-209.
    5. Fumitoshi Mizutani & Takuya Urakami, 2001. "articles: Identifying network density and scale economies for Japanese water supply organizations," Papers in Regional Science, Springer;Regional Science Association International, vol. 80(2), pages 211-230.
    6. repec:ccp:journl:v:23:y:2003:i:5:p:137-149 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Antonioli, B. & Filippini, M., 2001. "The use of a variable cost function in the regulation of the Italian water industry," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 10(3-4), pages 181-187.
    8. Michael Zschille & Matthias Walter, 2012. "The performance of German water utilities: a (semi)-parametric analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(29), pages 3749-3764, October.
    9. Stephen P. Osborne, 2006. "The New Public Governance?-super-1," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 377-387, September.
    10. Céline Nauges & Caroline Berg, 2008. "Economies of density, scale and scope in the water supply and sewerage sector: a study of four developing and transition economies," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 144-163, October.
    11. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
    12. Youn Kim, H. & Clark, Robert M., 1988. "Economies of scale and scope in water supply," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 479-502, November.
    13. Serge Garcia & Alban Thomas, 2001. "The Structure of Municipal Water Supply Costs: Application to a Panel of French Local Communities," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 5-29, July.
    14. Isabel M. García-Sánchez, 2006. "Efficiency Measurement in Spanish Local Government: The Case of Municipal Water Services," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 23(2), pages 355-372, March.
    15. Bhattacharyya, Arunava & Harris, Thomas R. & Narayanan, Rangesan & Raffiee, Kambiz, 1995. "Specification and estimation of the effect of ownership on the economic efficiency of the water utilities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 759-784, December.
    16. Steven Renzetti & Diane P. Dupont, 2009. "Measuring the Technical Efficiency of Municipal Water Suppliers: The Role of Environmental Factors," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 85(4), pages 627-636.
    17. Giovanni Fraquelli & Massimiliano Piacenza & Davide Vannoni, 2004. "Scope and scale economies in multi-utilities: evidence from gas, water and electricity combinations," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(18), pages 2045-2057.
    18. Chirikos, Thomas N. & Sear, Alan M., 1994. "Technical efficiency and the competitive behavior of hospitals," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 219-227, December.
    19. Tupper, Henrique Cesar & Resende, Marcelo, 2004. "Efficiency and regulatory issues in the Brazilian water and sewage sector: an empirical study," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 29-40, March.
    20. Ford, J L & Warford, J J, 1969. "Cost Functions for the Water Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 53-63, November.
    21. Kristof Witte & Rui Marques, 2011. "Big and beautiful? On non-parametrically measuring scale economies in non-convex technologies," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 213-226, June.
    22. 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.
    23. Torres, Marcelo & Morrison Paul, Catherine J., 2006. "Driving forces for consolidation or fragmentation of the US water utility industry: A cost function approach with endogenous output," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 104-120, January.
    24. Garcia, Serge & Moreaux, Michel & Reynaud, Arnaud, 2007. "Measuring economies of vertical integration in network industries: An application to the water sector," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 791-820, August.
    25. Steven Renzetti, 1999. "Municipal Water Supply and Sewage Treatment: Costs, Prices and Distortions," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(3), pages 688-704, May.
    26. Aly, Hassan Y, et al, 1990. "Technical, Scale, and Allocative Efficiencies in U.S. Banking: An Empirical Investigation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 211-218, May.
    27. 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.
    28. R. D. Banker & A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper, 1984. "Some Models for Estimating Technical and Scale Inefficiencies in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(9), pages 1078-1092, September.
    29. Giulia Romano & Andrea Guerrini & Silvia Vernizzi, 2013. "Ownership, Investment Policies and Funding Choices of Italian Water Utilities: An Empirical Analysis," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 27(9), pages 3409-3419, July.
    30. Marques, Rui Cunha & De Witte, Kristof, 2011. "Is big better? On scale and scope economies in the Portuguese water sector," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 1009-1016, May.
    31. Takuya Urakami, 2007. "Economies of vertical integration in the Japanese water supply industry," Review of Regional Research: Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer;Gesellschaft für Regionalforschung (GfR), vol. 27(2), pages 129-141, August.
    32. John K. Ashton, 2003. "Capital Utilisation and Scale in the English and Welsh Water Industry," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(5), pages 137-149, November.
    33. Hoff, Ayoe, 2007. "Second stage DEA: Comparison of approaches for modelling the DEA score," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 181(1), pages 425-435, August.
    34. Aida, Kazuo & Cooper, William W. & Pastor, Jésus T. & Sueyoshi, Toshiyuki, 1998. "Evaluating Water Supply Services in Japan with RAM: a Range-adjusted Measure of Inefficiency," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 207-232, April.
    35. Paola Fabbri & Giovanni Fraquelli, 2000. "Costs and Structure of Technology in the Italian Water Industry," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 65-82, March.
    36. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025.
    37. Patrick L. Brockett & Boaz Golany, 1996. "Using Rank Statistics for Determining Programmatic Efficiency Differences in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(3), pages 466-472, March.
    38. Berg, Sanford V & Marques, Rui Cunha, 2010. "Quantitative studies of water and sanitation utilities: a literature survey," MPRA Paper 32891, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    39. Anwandter, Lars & Ozuna, Teofilo Jr., 2002. "Can public sector reforms improve the efficiency of public water utilities?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(04), pages 687-700, October.
    40. Hunt, Lester C & Lynk, Edward L, 1995. "Privatisation and Efficiency in the UK Water Industry: An Empirical Analysis," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(3), pages 371-388, August.
    41. David S Saal & David Parker, 2000. "The impact of privatization and regulation on the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales: a translog cost function model," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(6), pages 253-268.
    42. Panzar, John C & Willig, Robert D, 1981. "Economies of Scope," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 268-272, May.
    43. Cubbin, John & Tzanidakis, George, 1998. "Regression versus data envelopment analysis for efficiency measurement: an application to the England and Wales regulated water industry," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 75-85, June.
    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. repec:spr:waterr:v:31:y:2017:i:8:d:10.1007_s11269-016-1395-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:waterr:v:31:y:2017:i:13:d:10.1007_s11269-017-1748-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Martins, Rita & Fortunato, Adelino, 2016. "Critical analysis of the Portuguese Water Industry Restructuring Plan," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(PB), pages 131-139.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:eee:juipol:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:103-111 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. María Molinos-Senante & Manuel Mocholi-Arce & Ramón Sala-Garrido, 2016. "Efficiency Assessment of Water and Sewerage Companies: a Disaggregated Approach Accounting for Service Quality," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 30(12), pages 4311-4328, September.
    7. Bettina Campedelli & Andrea Guerrina & Giulia Romano & Chiara Leardini, 2014. "La performance della rete ospedaliera pubblica della regione Veneto. L’impatto delle variabili ambientali e operative sull’efficienza," MECOSAN. Menagement e economia sanitaria, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(92), pages 119-142.
    8. repec:spr:waterr:v:31:y:2017:i:8:d:10.1007_s11269-017-1586-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Giulia Romano & Nicola Salvati & Andrea Guerrini, 2014. "Factors Affecting Water Utility Companies’ Decision to Promote the Reduction of Household Water Consumption," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 28(15), pages 5491-5505, December.
    10. repec:spr:waterr:v:31:y:2017:i:8:d:10.1007_s11269-016-1346-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Romano, Giulia & Guerrini, Andrea, 2014. "The effects of ownership, board size and board composition on the performance of Italian water utilities," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 18-28.
    12. Maziotis, Alexandros & Saal, David S. & Thanassoulis, Emmanuel & Molinos-Senante, María, 2016. "Price-cap regulation in the English and Welsh water industry: A proposal for measuring productivity performance," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 22-30.
    13. repec:spr:waterr:v:31:y:2017:i:8:d:10.1007_s11269-016-1376-9 is not listed on IDEAS

    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:spr:waterr:v:27:y:2013:i:13:p:4559-4578. 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.