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The influence of ownership on the cost of bus service provision in Switzerland - an empirical illustration

  • Massimo Filippini
  • Paola Prioni

In deregulated transport markets, a firm's ownership status and management system represent an important issue. Property right theory suggests that productivity and performance are higher in the private than in the public sector. In Switzerland, providers of bus transportation are traditionally corporations, though a large part of their equity shares are still held by the public sector (federal government, cantons, municipalities). This paper examines the potential impact of ownership on the cost of bus service provision for a sample of private, public and mixed bus companies in Switzerland. The estimation of a translog cost model has been considered for 34 bus transit companies observed over 5 years (1991-1995). The results only partially confirm that if the private sector holds shares in the company's capital, efficiency is enhanced. In addition, measures of economies of scale and density are derived and discussed within the actual public transport policy.

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

Volume (Year): 35 (2003)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 683-690

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:35:y:2003:i:6:p:683-690
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  1. Niskanen, William A, 1975. "Bureaucrats and Politicians," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 617-43, December.
  2. Button, K J & O'Donnell, K J, 1985. "An Examination of the Cost Structures Associated with Providing Urban Bus Services in Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 32(1), pages 67-81, February.
  3. Massimo Filippini & Paola Prioni, 1994. "Is Scale and Cost Inefficiency in the Swiss Bus Industry a Regulatory Problem? Evidence from a Frontier Cost Approach," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 219-232.
  4. Berechman, Joseph, 1987. "Cost structure and production technology in transit : An application to the Israeli bus transit sector," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 519-534, November.
  5. Karlaftis, Matthew G. & McCarthy, Patrick, 2002. "Cost structures of public transit systems: a panel data analysis," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 1-18, January.
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