IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Do competition and ownership matter? Evidence from local public transport in Europe

  • Andrea Boitani
  • Marcella Nicolini
  • Carlo Scarpa

This article investigates how the ownership and the selection procedure of firms operating in the Local Public Transport (LPT) sector affect their productivity. In order to compare different institutional regimes, we carry out a comparative analysis of 77 companies operating in large European cities over the period 1997 to 2006. This allows us to consider firms selected either through competitive tendering or negotiated procedures. Retrieving the residuals we obtain a measure of Total Factor Productivity (TFP), which we regress on firm and city characteristics. We find that totally or partially public firms display lower productivity than privately owned firms. Moreover, firms selected through competitive tendering display higher TFP.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
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 under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 45 (2013)
Issue (Month): 11 (April)
Pages: 1419-1434

in new window

Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:45:y:2013:i:11:p:1419-1434
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1127-1161.
  2. Jonathan Cowie & Darinka Asenova, 1999. "Organisation form, scale effects and efficiency in the British bus industry," Transportation, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 231-248, August.
  3. Massimo Filippini & Paola Prioni, 2003. "The influence of ownership on the cost of bus service provision in Switzerland - an empirical illustration," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(6), pages 683-690.
  4. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  5. Marina Di Giacomo & Elisabetta Ottoz, 2010. "The Relevance of Scale and Scope Economies in the Provision of Urban and Intercity Bus Transport," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 44(2), pages 161-187, May.
  6. William Roy & Anne Yvrande-Billon, 2007. "Ownership, Contractual Practices and Technical Efficiency: The Case of Urban Public Transport in France," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 41(2), pages 257-282, May.
  7. Philippe Gagnepain & Marc Ivaldi & David Martimort, 2009. "Renégociation de contrats dans l'industrie du transport urbain en France," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 60(4), pages 927-947.
  8. Patrick Bajari & Robert McMillan & Steven Tadelis, . "Auctions versus Negotiations in Procurement: An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 02007, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  9. William Roy & Anne Yvrande-Billon, 2007. "Ownership, Contractual Practices and Technical Efficiency: The Case of Urban Public Transport in France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00107375, HAL.
  10. Andrea Boitani & Marcella Nicolini & Carlo Scarpa, 2011. "Do competition and ownership matter? Evidence from local public transport in Europe," Post-Print hal-00768582, HAL.
  11. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
  12. Dag Morten Dalen & Andres Gomez Lobo, 1996. "Regulation and incentive contracts: An empirical investigation of the Norwegian bus transport industry," IFS Working Papers W96/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  13. Beniamina Buzzo Margari & Fabrizio Erbetta & Carmelo Petraglia & Massimiliano Piacenza, 2006. "Regulatory and Environmental Effects on Public Transit Efficiency. A Mixed DEA-SFA Approach," CERIS Working Paper 200613, Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO).
  14. Dag Dalen & Andres Gómez-Lobo, 2003. "Yardsticks on the road: Regulatory contracts and cost efficiency in the Norwegian bus industry," Transportation, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 371-386, November.
  15. Kerstens, K., 1996. "Technical efficiency measurement and explanation of French urban transit companies," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 431-452, November.
  16. C. Cambini & M. Filippini, 2003. "Competitive Tendering and Optimal Size in the Regional Bus Transportation Industry: An Example from Italy," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 74(1), pages 163-182, 03.
  17. Stefan Szymanski, 1996. "The impact of compulsory competitive tendering on refuse collection services," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 17(3), pages 1-19, August.
  18. Oliver E. Williamson, 1976. "Franchise Bidding for Natural Monopolies -- in General and with Respect to CATV," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(1), pages 73-104, Spring.
  19. GAUTIER, Axel & YVRANDE-BILLON, Anne, 2008. "Contract renewal as an incentive device. An application to the French urban public transport sector," CORE Discussion Papers 2008068, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  20. Anne Yvrande-Billon, 2006. "The Attribution Process Of Delegation Contracts In The French Urban Public Transport Sector: Why Competitive Tendering Is A Myth," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 77(4), pages 453-478, December.
  21. Judy Shaw-Er & Wang Chiang & Ya-Wen Chen, 2005. "Cost structure and technological change of local public transport: the Kaohsiung City Bus case," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(12), pages 1399-1410.
  22. Gagnepain, P. & Ivaldi, M., 1999. "Incentive Regulatory Policies: the Case of Public Transit Systems in France," Papers 99.515, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  23. Beata K. Smarzynska, 2003. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers through Backward Linkages," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 548, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  24. Jeffry M. Netter & William L. Megginson, 2001. "From State to Market: A Survey of Empirical Studies on Privatization," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 321-389, June.
  25. Eric J. Bartelsman & Mark Doms, 2000. "Understanding productivity: lessons from longitudinal microdata," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  26. Boardman, Anthony E & Vining, Aidan R, 1989. "Ownership and Performance in Competitive Environments: A Comparison of the Performance of Private, Mixed, and State-Owned Enterprises," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-33, April.
  27. Krueger, Anne O, 1990. "Government Failures in Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 9-23, Summer.
  28. Boitani, Andrea & Cambini, Carlo, 2006. "“To Bid or Not to Bid, This is the Question: The Italian Experience in Competitive Tendering for Local Bus Services”," MPRA Paper 2253, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  29. Carlo Cambini & Massimiliano Piacenza & Davide Vannoni, 2007. "Restructuring Public Transit Systems: Evidence on Cost Properties from Medium and Large-Sized Companies," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 183-203, November.
  30. Massimiliano Piacenza, 2006. "Regulatory Contracts and Cost Efficiency: Stochastic Frontier Evidence from the Italian Local Public Transport," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 257-277, 06.
  31. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
  32. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
  33. Viton, Philip A., 1997. "Technical efficiency in multi-mode bus transit: A production frontier analysis," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 23-39, February.
  34. Elisabetta Ottoz & Graziella Fornengo & Marina Di Giacomo, 2009. "The impact of ownership on the cost of bus service provision: an example from Italy," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(3), pages 337-349.
  35. Domberger, Simon & Hall, Christine & Li, Eric Ah Lik, 1995. "The Determinants of Price and Quality in Competitively Tendered Contracts," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(433), pages 1454-70, November.
  36. Giovanni Fraquelli & Massimiliano Piacenza & Graziano Abrate, 2004. "Regulating Public Transit Networks: How do Urban-Intercity Diversification and Speed-up Measures Affect Firms' Cost Performance?," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 75(2), pages 193-225, 06.
  37. Hensher, David A. & Stanley, John, 2008. "Transacting under a performance-based contract: The role of negotiation and competitive tendering," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1143-1151, November.
  38. John Vickers & George Yarrow, 1991. "Economic Perspectives on Privatization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 111-132, Spring.
  39. Berndt, Ernst R. & Christensen, Laurits R., 1973. "The translog function and the substitution of equipment, structures, and labor in U.S. manufacturing 1929-68," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 81-113, March.
  40. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00107375 is not listed on IDEAS
  41. Riordan, Michael H & Sappington, David E M, 1987. "Awarding Monopoly Franchises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 375-87, June.
  42. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R, 1980. "The Relative Efficiency of Public and Private Firms in a Competitive Environment: The Case of Canadian Railroads," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 958-76, October.
  43. Eckel, Catherine C & Vining, Aidan R, 1985. "Elements of a Theory of Mixed Enterprise," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 32(1), pages 82-94, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:applec:45:y:2013:i:11:p:1419-1434. 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: (Michael McNulty)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.