The Direct Costs and Benefits of US Electric Utility Divestitures
This paper studies the impact of divestiture on the efficiency and costs of electric utilities. The empirical literature shows that there exist economies of scope for electric utilities and that divestiture decreases distribution efficiency but increases generation efficiency. This paper is to bring together these different results. Our analysis covers distribution, transmission, and power sourcing. Our data is an unbalanced panel of about 138 US electric utilities for the years 1994 to 2006 over which we observe 30 divestitures between 1997 and 2003. First, we regress firmlevel efficiencies for distribution and power sourcing on various divestiture indicators. Second, we compare the weighted cost between divested and non-divested firms and calculate a net present value for the entire sample of divestitures. Last, we regress net benefits from divestiture on the distribution side on the net benefit for power sourcing to see whether individual firms successfully off-set any costs of divestiture. We find that divestiture reduces distribution efficiency but increases power sourcing efficiency. Both effects depend on the amount of own nuclear generation output but not fossil-fuel or hydro output. The net present value for all divestitures in our sample is $11.3 billion. It seems that relatively lower costs of power outweigh losses in economies of scope as well as other restructuring costs. However, lower costs of power might be the result of favourable contracts put in place at the time of divestiture. Our study complements traditional studies of economies of scope and shows that divestitures might well be worth it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kwoka, John E., 2002. "Vertical economies in electric power: evidence on integration and its alternatives," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 653-671, May.
- Teece, David J., 1980. "Economies of scope and the scope of the enterprise," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 223-247, September.
- Pablo Arocena & David S. Saal & Tim Coelli, 2012. "Vertical and Horizontal Scope Economies in the Regulated U . S . Electric Power Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 434-467, 09.
- Nickell, Stephen J, 1996.
"Competition and Corporate Performance,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 724-746, August.
- Nickell, S.J., 1993. "Competition and Crporate Performance," Economics Series Working Papers 99155, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Stephen Nickell, 1993. "Competition and Corporate Performance," CEP Discussion Papers dp0182, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- John Kwoka & Michael Pollitt & Sanem Sergici, 2010. "Divestiture policy and operating efficiency in U.S. electric power distribution," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 86-109, August.
- Kwoka, J. & Ozturk, S. & Pollitt, M.G., 2008. "Divestiture Policy and Operating Efficiency in U.S. Electric Power Distribution," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0835, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- 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.
- Michael Maloney, 2001. "Economies and Diseconomies: Estimating Electricity Cost Functions," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 19(2), pages 165-180, September.
- Kaserman, David L & Mayo, John W, 1991. "The Measurement of Vertical Economies and the Efficient Structure of the Electric Utility Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(5), pages 483-502, September.
- Sappington, David E. M. & Pfeifenberger, Johannes P. & Hanser, Philip & Basheda, Gregory N., 2001. "The State of Performance-Based Regulation in the U.S. Electric Utility Industry," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 14(8), pages 71-79, October. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)