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Railway (De)Regulation: A European Efficiency Comparison

  • Friebel, Guido
  • Ivaldi, Marc
  • Vibes, Catherine

Many European countries have sought to increase the efficiency of national railroad companies through a range of reforms: separating infrastructure and operations, creating independent regulatory institutions and providing access to the network to third parties. To estimate the effects of reforms on railroad efficiency, we investigate a new World Bank panel dataset that covers many EU countries over a period of 20 years. We compare the passenger traffic efficiency of national railroad companies by means of a production frontier model and evaluate the effects of reforms on efficiency. We find that reforms have efficiency-increasing effects but that the effect of reforms depends on sequencing: the introduction of multiple reforms in a package has at best neutral effects, but sequential reforms improve efficiency. Using the LISREL technique, we find that our results are robust against potential problems of endogeneity.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4319.

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Date of creation: Mar 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4319
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  1. Ng, Charles K & Seabright, Paul, 2001. "Competition, Privatisation and Productive Efficiency: Evidence from the Airline Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 591-619, July.
  2. Gathon, H. -J. & Pestieau, P., 1995. "Decomposing efficiency into its managerial and its regulatory components: The case of European railways," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 500-507, February.
  3. Pedro Cantos & José Pastor & Lorenzo Serrano, 1999. "Productivity, efficiency and technical change in the European railways: A non-parametric approach," Transportation, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 337-357, November.
  4. 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.
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