Property Rights versus Public Spirit: Ownership and Efficiency of U.S. Electric Utilities Prior to Rate-of-Return Regulation
For over a century, American economists have been engaged in a vigorous theoretical and empirical debate over the economic performance of publicly-owned versus privately-owned electric utilities. The authors review the historical debate and use micro data collected by the U.S. Commissioner of Labor in 1897-98 to construct efficiency measures based on a nonparametric frontier production function. Since this is prior to state rate-of-return regulation, regulatory effects do not confound the analysis. The authors find that publicly-owned electric utilities were significantly more efficient than their privately-owned counterparts. Copyright 1991 by MIT Press.
Volume (Year): 73 (1991)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
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