IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cam/camdae/0317.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Assessing the efficient cost of sustaining Britain’s rail network: perspectives based on Zonal comparisons

Author

Listed:
  • Kennedy, J.
  • Smith, A.S.J.

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to inform the debate on how efficiency targets for Network Rail (formerly Railtrack) should be set during the 2002/03 Interim Review and beyond. Given the problems experienced during the 2000 Periodic Review, which focused on external benchmarks, we propose an internal benchmarking approach, drawing on data for seven geographical Zones within Railtrack (over the period 1995/96 to 2001/02). Our approach mirrors the yardstick competition method used in other UK regulated industries. Three efficiency measurement techniques are applied to this data (DEA; COLS; SFA). Our results suggest that Railtrack (as a whole) delivered substantial improvements in productivity in the early years after privatisation, although these savings were largely offset by the post-Hatfield cost increases. However, looking forward, Zonal efficiency differences suggest that the company could make significant savings in future years by applying (its own) best practice consistently across the network.

Suggested Citation

  • Kennedy, J. & Smith, A.S.J., 2003. "Assessing the efficient cost of sustaining Britain’s rail network: perspectives based on Zonal comparisons," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0317, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0317
    Note: IO
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research-files/repec/cam/pdf/wp0317.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jondrow, James & Knox Lovell, C. A. & Materov, Ivan S. & Schmidt, Peter, 1982. "On the estimation of technical inefficiency in the stochastic frontier production function model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 233-238, August.
    2. Michael G. Pollitt & Andrew S. J. Smith, 2002. "The restructuring and privatisation of British Rail: was it really that bad?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 23(4), pages 463-502, December.
    3. Greene, William H., 1980. "Maximum likelihood estimation of econometric frontier functions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 27-56, May.
    4. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
    5. Pitt, Mark M. & Lee, Lung-Fei, 1981. "The measurement and sources of technical inefficiency in the Indonesian weaving industry," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 43-64, August.
    6. Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C, 1984. "Production Frontiers and Panel Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(4), pages 367-374, October.
    7. Afriat, Sidney N, 1972. "Efficiency Estimation of Production Function," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 13(3), pages 568-598, October.
    8. Coelli, Tim & Perelman, Sergio, 1999. "A comparison of parametric and non-parametric distance functions: With application to European railways," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 326-339, September.
    9. Meeusen, Wim & van den Broeck, Julien, 1977. "Efficiency Estimation from Cobb-Douglas Production Functions with Composed Error," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 435-444, June.
    10. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
    11. Richmond, J, 1974. "Estimating the Efficiency of Production," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 15(2), pages 515-521, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Andersson, Mats, 2007. "Fixed Effects Estimation of Marginal Railway Infrastructure Costs in Sweden," Working Papers 2007:11, Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI).
    2. Odolinski , Kristofer & Smith , Andrew S.J., 2014. "Assessing the cost impact of competitive tendering in rail infrastructure maintenance services: evidence from the Swedish reforms (1999-2011)," Working papers in Transport Economics 2014:17, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
    3. Giannakis, D. & T. Jamasb & Pollitt, M.G., 2004. "Benchmarking and incentive regulation of quality of service: an application to the UK electricity distribution utilities," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0408, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    4. Andersson, Mats, 2006. "Marginal railway infrastructure cost estimates in the presence of unobserved effects," Working Papers 2006:6, Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    corrected ordinary least squares; data envelopment analysis; efficiency analysis; internal benchmarking; railway; stochastic frontier analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:cam:camdae:0317. 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: (Jake Dyer). General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/ .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.