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Cost Efficiency and Subsidization in German Local Public Bus Transit


  • Nieswand, Maria
  • Walter, Matthias


This paper examines the impact of endogenous deficit-balancing subsidies on the cost efficiency of local public bus companies by using alternative frontier cost models for panel data. Thereby, the multidimensional performance estimation incorporates the subsidy variable directly. The empirical analysis relies on a unique dataset of 33 German companies observed over a period of up to twelve years. We find a positive effect of endogenous subsidies on the standard deviation of cost inefficiency implying that the range of companies’ cost inefficiency increases with the level of subsidies relative to total costs. Further, we find that non-subsidized firms perform better.

Suggested Citation

  • Nieswand, Maria & Walter, Matthias, 2013. "Cost Efficiency and Subsidization in German Local Public Bus Transit," CEPR Discussion Papers 9346, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9346

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Filippini, M. & Koller, M. & Masiero, G., 2015. "Competitive tendering versus performance-based negotiation in Swiss public transport," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 158-168.
    2. Drevs, Florian & Tscheulin, Dieter K. & Lindenmeier, Jörg & Renner, Simone, 2014. "Crowding-in or crowding out: An empirical analysis on the effect of subsidies on individual willingness-to-pay for public transportation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 250-261.
    3. Andrés Gomez-Lobo, 2017. "The efficiency case for transit subsidies in the presence of a ‘soft’ budget constraint," Working Papers wp447, University of Chile, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    cost efficiency; endogenous subsidies; heteroscedasticity; local public bus transportation; panel data; stochastic cost frontier;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation

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