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Efficiency in the public and private French water utilities: prospects for benchmarking

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  • Aude Le Lannier
  • Simon Porcher

Abstract

This article uses a data envelopment analysis (DEA) and a stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) to assess the relative technical efficiency of 177 decision-making units in the French water supply sector in 2009. Water utilities can be directly managed by the local authorities or contracted out and then managed by a private operator. The use of a three-stage model mixing DEA and SFA enables us to dissociate managerial inefficiencies from the structural inefficiencies and statistical noise. After having taken the environmental variables into account, we find that private management are on average slightly less efficient than public management. An explanation to this performance gap can be different resource management.

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  • Aude Le Lannier & Simon Porcher, 2014. "Efficiency in the public and private French water utilities: prospects for benchmarking," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(5), pages 556-572, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:46:y:2014:i:5:p:556-572
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2013.857002
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    2. Ngobeni, Victor & Breitenbach, Marthinus C, 2021. "Production and Scale Efficiency of South African Water Utilities: The Case of Water Boards," MPRA Paper 106242, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Alexandre Mayol & Stéphane Saussier, 2020. "Retaking Control of Local Public Services A Step-by-Step Strategy," Working Papers of BETA 2020-43, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    4. Marta Suárez-Varela & María los Ángeles García-Valiñas & Francisco González-Gómez & Andrés J Picazo-Tadeo, 2017. "Ownership and Performance in Water Services Revisited: Does Private Management Really Outperform Public?," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 31(8), pages 2355-2373, June.
    5. Molinos-Senante, María & Hanley, Nick & Sala-Garrido, Ramón, 2015. "Measuring the CO2 shadow price for wastewater treatment: A directional distance function approach," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 241-249.
    6. Ngobeni, Victor & Breitenbach, Marthinus C, 2020. "Technical Efficiency of Water Boards in South Africa: A Costing and Pricing Benchmarking Exercise," MPRA Paper 101501, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Hellwig, Michael & Polk, Andreas, 2021. "Do political links influence water prices? Determinants of water prices in Germany," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    8. Pedro-José Martínez-Córdoba & Nicola Raimo & Filippo Vitolla & Bernardino Benito, 2020. "Achieving Sustainable Development Goals. Efficiency in the Spanish Clean Water and Sanitation Sector," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(7), pages 1-13, April.
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    10. Nakamura, Eri & Sakai, Hiroki & Shoji, Kenichi, 2018. "Managerial transfers to reduce transaction costs among affiliated firms: Case study of Japanese railway holding companies," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 102-110.
    11. Ángeles-Castro, Gerardo & González-Hernández, Isaí, 2016. "Mejora del servicio de agua: el caso de Manila para replicar en México," eseconomía, Escuela Superior de Economía, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, vol. 11(45), pages 57-70, Segundo s.
    12. José Antonio Palomero-González & Vicent Almenar-Llongo & Ramón Fuentes-Pascual, 2021. "Evaluating the Efficiency of Water Distribution Network Sectors Using the DEA-Weight Russell Directional Distance Model: The Case of the City of Valencia (Spain)," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(19), pages 1-21, September.
    13. Henriques, Alda A. & Camanho, Ana S. & Amorim, Pedro & Silva, Jaime G., 2020. "Performance benchmarking using composite indicators to support regulation of the Portuguese wastewater sector," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
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