IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Measuring efficiency in the public sector using nonparametric frontier estimators: a study of transit agencies in the USA


  • J. F. Nolan
  • P. C. Ritchie
  • J. R. Rowcroft


Transit agencies in the USA must provide service under increasing operating constraints. Using data from 1989-1993, technical efficiency among these firms is estimated and characteristics indicative of differential efficiency in transit agencies are identified. This paper verifies the robustness of the second step regression results to the choice of efficiency measure by comparing results of the two step regressions using a pair of non-parametric efficiency estimators. It is discovered that the structure of government subsidy to this industry negatively affects not just cost efficiency, but technical efficiency as well. Furthermore, maintenance appears to be an important component of operational efficiency in this industry.

Suggested Citation

  • J. F. Nolan & P. C. Ritchie & J. R. Rowcroft, 2001. "Measuring efficiency in the public sector using nonparametric frontier estimators: a study of transit agencies in the USA," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(7), pages 913-922.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:33:y:2001:i:7:p:913-922
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840122663

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    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

    1. Marmol, Francesc, 1996. "Nonsense Regressions between Integrated Processes of Different Orders," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(3), pages 525-536, August.
    2. Phillips, P.C.B., 1986. "Understanding spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 311-340, December.
    3. Granger, Clive W. J. & Swanson, Norman R., 1997. "An introduction to stochastic unit-root processes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 35-62, September.
    4. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
    5. Haldrup, Niels, 1994. "The asymptotics of single-equation cointegration regressions with I(1) and I(2) variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 153-181, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Juan Gómez-García & María del Rocio Moreno Enguix & Juan Cándido Gómez-Gallego, 2011. "Estimation Of The Efficiency Of Structural Funds: A Parametric And Non-Parametric Approach," Post-Print hal-00712385, HAL.
    2. Cinzia Daraio & Marco Diana & Flavia Di Costa & Claudio Leporelli & Giorgio Matteucci & Alberto Nastasi, 2014. "Efficiency and effectiveness in the urban public transport sector: a critical review with directions for future research," DIAG Technical Reports 2014-14, Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza".
    3. Tolga Ülkü & Vahidin Jeleskovic & Jürgen Müller, 2014. "How scale and institutional setting explain the costs of small airports? -An application of spatial regression analysis," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201435, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    4. Daraio, Cinzia & Diana, Marco & Di Costa, Flavia & Leporelli, Claudio & Matteucci, Giorgio & Nastasi, Alberto, 2016. "Efficiency and effectiveness in the urban public transport sector: A critical review with directions for future research," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 248(1), pages 1-20.
    5. Min, Hokey & Lambert, Thomas, 2013. "An Exploratory Evaluation of State Road Provision to Commuters and Shippers using Data Envelopment Analysis and Tobit Regression," MPRA Paper 47196, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Zuzana Kučerová, 2012. "Measuring of Efficiency in the Public and Private Sector - Current Research Approaches," Český finanční a účetní časopis, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2012(2), pages 110-125.
    7. Yu, Ming-Miin & Chen, Li-Hsueh & Hsiao, Bo, 2016. "Dynamic performance assessment of bus transit with the multi-activity network structure," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 15-25.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:taf:applec:v:33:y:2001:i:7:p:913-922. 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: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.