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The role of environmental factors in water utilities' technical efficiency. Empirical evidence from Spanish companies

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  • Andres Picazo-Tadeo
  • Francisco Saez-Fernandez
  • Francisco Gonzalez-Gomez

Abstract

This article computes input-specific scores of technical efficiency for a sample of water utilities located in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. In addition, differences in efficiency between different operating environments are investigated. Concerning the debate about ownership and efficiency, we find that privately owned companies outperform public utilities in their management of labour. Furthermore, technical efficiency is found to be greater among firms located in highly populated areas and for utilities providing water services to tourist municipalities. Finally, no empirical evidence supporting the greater technical efficiency of consortia of water utilities, a managerial strategy strongly encouraged by regional politicians, is found.

Suggested Citation

  • Andres Picazo-Tadeo & Francisco Saez-Fernandez & Francisco Gonzalez-Gomez, 2009. "The role of environmental factors in water utilities' technical efficiency. Empirical evidence from Spanish companies," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 615-628.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:41:y:2009:i:5:p:615-628
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840601007310
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mbuvi, Dorcas & Tarsim, Achraf, 2011. "Managerial ownership and urban water utilities efficiency in Uganda," MERIT Working Papers 036, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. García-Valiñas, Maria A. & Gonzales, Francisco & Suarez, Javier & Zaporozhets, Vera, 2015. "Private Sector Involvement in Water Services: Theoretical Foundations and Empirical Evidence," TSE Working Papers 15-590, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    3. Francisco González Gómez & Miguel Angel García Rubio, 2008. "Efficiency in the management of urban water services. What have we learned after four decades of research?," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 185(2), pages 39-67, July.
    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. Li, Fan & Phillips, Michelle, 2016. "The Influence Of Regulation And The Operational Environment On Chinese Urban Water Utilities," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235160, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Mande Buafua, Patrick, 2015. "Efficiency of urban water supply in Sub-Saharan Africa: Do organization and regulation matter?," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 13-22.
    7. repec:eee:juipol:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:97-108 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ruiz-Villaverde, Alberto & Picazo-Tadeo, Andrés J. & González-Gómez, Francisco, 2015. "The ‘social choice’ of privatising urban water services: A case study of Madrid in Spain," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 616-629.
    9. González-Gómez, Francisco & García-Rubio, Miguel A. & González-Martínez, Jesús, 2014. "Beyond the public–private controversy in urban water management in Spain," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 1-9.
    10. Fan Li & Michelle Andrea Phillips, 2017. "The Influence of the Regulatory Environment on Chinese Urban Water Utilities," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 31(1), pages 205-218, January.
    11. Picazo-Tadeo, Andrés J. & Sáez-Fernández, Francisco J. & González-Gómez, Francisco, 2008. "Assesing Performance in the Management of the Urban Water Cycle," Efficiency Series Papers 2008/01, University of Oviedo, Department of Economics, Oviedo Efficiency Group (OEG).
    12. Zschille, Michael, 2012. "Consolidating the Water Industry: An Analysis of the Potential Gains from Horizontal Integration in a Conditional Efficiency Framework," CEPR Discussion Papers 8737, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Michael Zschille, 2014. "Nonparametric measures of returns to scale: an application to German water supply," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 1029-1053, November.
    14. Miguel García-Rubio & Cecilia Tortajada & Francisco González-Gómez, 2016. "Privatising Water Utilities and User Perception of Tap Water Quality: Evidence from Spanish Urban Water Services," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 30(1), pages 315-329, January.
    15. Miguel A. García-Rubio & Cecilia Tortajada & Francisco González-Gómez, 2016. "Privatising Water Utilities and User Perception of Tap Water Quality: Evidence from Spanish Urban Water Services," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 30(1), pages 315-329, January.
    16. Michael Zschille, 2015. "Consolidating the water industry: an analysis of the potential gains from horizontal integration in a conditional efficiency framework," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 97-114, August.
    17. García-Valiñas, María de los Ángeles & González-Gómez, Francisco & Picazo-Tadeo, Andrés J., 2013. "Is the price of water for residential use related to provider ownership? Empirical evidence from Spain," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 59-69.
    18. Miguel A. García-Rubio & Francisco González-Gómez & Jorge Guardiola, 2009. "Performance and ownership in the governance of urban water," FEG Working Paper Series 09/03, Faculty of Economics and Business (University of Granada).
    19. Anne-Kathrin Faust & Andrea Baranzini, 2014. "The economic performance of Swiss drinking water utilities," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 383-397, June.
    20. 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.
    21. Michael Zschille, 2012. "Consolidating the Water Industry: An Analysis of the Potential Gains from Horizontal Integration in a Conditional Efficiency Framework," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1187, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    22. Alexandr Akimov & Paul Simshauser, 2018. "Performance measurement in Australian water utilities: Current state and future directions," Discussion Papers in Finance finance:201802, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
    23. Mellah, Thuraya & Ben Amor, Tawfik, 2016. "Performance of the Tunisian Water Utility: An input-distance function approach," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 18-32.

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