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Cost Efficiency in Regional Bus Companies: An Application of Alternative Stochastic Frontier Models

  • Mehdi Farsi

    ()

    (Center for Energy Policy and Economics CEPE, Department of Management, Technology and Economics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

  • Massimo Filippini

    ()

    (Center for Energy Policy and Economics CEPE, Department of Management, Technology and Economics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

  • Michael Kuenzle

    ()

    (Center for Energy Policy and Economics CEPE, Department of Management, Technology and Economics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

This paper evaluates cost and scale efficiencies of Switzerland’s regulated bus companies operating in regional networks. The adopted methodology can be used in benchmarking analyses applied to incentive regulation systems. Moreover, the estimations can be used to evaluate the bidding offers for the tendering processes predicted by the ongoing reform policies. Since these companies operate in different regions with various characteristics that are only partially observed, it is crucial for the regulator to distinguish between inefficiency and exogenous heterogeneity that influences the costs. A number of stochastic cost frontier models are applied to a panel of 94 companies over a 12-year period from 1986 to 1997. The main focus lies on the ability of these models to distinguish inefficiency from the unobserved firmspecific heterogeneity in a network industry. The estimation results are compared and the effect of unobserved heterogeneity on inefficiency estimates is analyzed.

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Paper provided by CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich in its series CEPE Working paper series with number 04-33.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cee:wpcepe:04-33
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  1. 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.
  2. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  3. Berechman, Joseph, 1987. "Cost structure and production technology in transit : An application to the Israeli bus transit sector," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 519-534, November.
  4. Battese, G E & Coelli, T J, 1995. "A Model for Technical Inefficiency Effects in a Stochastic Frontier Production Function for Panel Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 325-32.
  5. Wang, Hung-jen & Schmidt, Peter, 2001. "One-step and two-step estimation of the effects of exogenous variables on technical efficiency levels," MPRA Paper 31075, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2002.
  6. Kumbhakar, Subal C., 1991. "Estimation of technical inefficiency in panel data models with firm- and time-specific effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 43-48, May.
  7. Mehdi Farsi & Massimo Filippini & William Greene, 2004. "Efficiency Measurement in Network Industries: Application to the Swiss Railway Companies," CEPE Working paper series 04-32, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
  8. William C. Horrace & Peter Schmidt, 2002. "Confidence Statements for Efficiency Estimates from Stochastic Frontier Models," Econometrics 0206006, EconWPA.
  9. Greene, William, 2005. "Reconsidering heterogeneity in panel data estimators of the stochastic frontier model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 269-303, June.
  10. Mehdi Farsi & Massimo Filippini, 2003. "Regulation and Measuring Cost Efficiency with Panel Data Models: Application to Electricity Distribution Utilities," CEPE Working paper series 03-19, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521666633 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Uwe Jensen, 2000. "Is it efficient to analyse efficiency rankings?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 189-208.
  13. Andrew Street, 2003. "How much confidence should we place in efficiency estimates?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(11), pages 895-907.
  14. Massimo Filippini & Paola Prioni, 2003. "The influence of ownership on the cost of bus service provision in Switzerland - an empirical illustration," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(6), pages 683-690.
  15. 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.
  16. Massimo Filippini & Paola Prioni, 1994. "Is Scale and Cost Inefficiency in the Swiss Bus Industry a Regulatory Problem? Evidence from a Frontier Cost Approach," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 219-232.
  17. Dag Dalen & Andres Gómez-Lobo, 2003. "Yardsticks on the road: Regulatory contracts and cost efficiency in the Norwegian bus industry," Transportation, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 371-386, November.
  18. Giovanni Fraquelli & Massimiliano Piacenza & Graziano Abrate, 2001. "Costs and Technology of Public Transit Systems in Italy:Some Insights to Face Inefficiency," CERIS Working Paper 200112, Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO).
  19. Massimiliano Piacenza, 2002. "Regulatory Constraints and Cost Efficiency of the Italian Public Transit Systems: An Exploratory Stochastic Frontier Model," CERIS Working Paper 200202, Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO).
  20. 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.
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