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The Impact of Privatisation on the Efficiency of Train Operation in Britain

Author

Listed:
  • Luisa Affuso
  • Alvaro Angeriz
  • Michael Pollitt

Abstract

Twenty-five train operating companies (TOCs) were created between 1994-1997, as part of the restructuring process of the railway industry in Great Britain. The TOCs operate monopoly franchises for the provision of passenger rail services over certain routes - some of which continue to receive government subsidies. This paper investigates how the efficiency of these train operating companies evolved prior to the October 2000 Hatfield crash (which caused significant disruption to the network) using data envelopment analysis and stochastic frontier analysis. Our data allows us to look at the relative efficiency and productivity through the privatisation, to control the efficiency scores for environmental data and to correlate these results with safety and quality indicators. The analysis sheds some light on the successes and failures of the UK’s most controversial privatisation to date.

Suggested Citation

  • Luisa Affuso & Alvaro Angeriz & Michael Pollitt, 2009. "The Impact of Privatisation on the Efficiency of Train Operation in Britain," Working Papers 28, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgs:wpaper:28
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    File URL: http://webspace.qmul.ac.uk/pmartins/CGRWP28.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. D. S. Prasada Rao & Bart van Ark, 2013. "Introduction," Chapters,in: World Economic Performance, chapter 1, pages 1-6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    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.
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    9. Douglas W. Caves & Laurits R. Christensen & Joseph A. Swanson, 1981. "Economic Performance in Regulated and Unregulated Environments: A Comparison of U. S. and Canadian Railroads," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 96(4), pages 559-581.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stuart Holder & Helen Smith, 2012. "Privatization: Could the Benefits Seen in Other Network Industries be Realized in Postal Industries?," Chapters,in: Multi-Modal Competition and the Future of Mail, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Railways; Comparative Efficiency; Data Envelopment Analysis; Stochastic Frontier Analyisis; Malmquist Productivity Index; Train Operating Companies; Privatisation;

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
    • L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics
    • M48 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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