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Costs and Technology of Public Transit Systems in Italy:Some Insights to Face Inefficiency

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This study provides fresh evidence about the characteristics of technology and cost structure of public transit systems in Italy. The aim is to suggest useful guidelines for facing detected inefficiencies. The analysis is carried out through the estimation of a translog variable cost function. The sample includes 45 Italian public companies. Firms are observed in the years 1996, 1997 and 1998, and operate both in the urban and extra-urban compartments. Results support previous evidence on the existence of natural monopoly at local level and stress the importance of the average speed of vehicles in explaining cost differences between companies. We conclude that cost benefits can be achieved by promoting mergers between firms (whenever possible), introducing some forms of "competition-for-the-market" (e.g., competitive tendering for the single license) and taking more care of the local traffic regulation.

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  • 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) ITALY -NOW- Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY.
  • Handle: RePEc:csc:cerisp:200112
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    1. Dag Morten Dalen & Gomez-Lobo, Gomez-Lobo, 1996. "Regulation and incentive contracts: An empirical investigation of the Norwegian bus transport industry," IFS Working Papers W96/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    2. Philippe Gagnepain & Marc Ivaldi, 2002. "Incentive Regulatory Policies: The Case of Public Transit Systems in France," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 605-629, Winter.
    3. D. Fabbri, 1996. "La Stima di Frontiere di Costo nel Trasporto Pubblico Locale: una Rassegna e un'Applicazione," Working Papers 270, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    4. Massimiliano Piacenza & Giovanni Fraquelli & Graziano Abrate, 2001. "Il trasporto pubblico locale in Italia: variabili esplicative dei divari di costo tra le imprese," ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2001(111).
    5. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Swanson, Joseph A, 1981. "Productivity Growth, Scale Economies, and Capacity Utilization in U.S. Railroads, 1955-74," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 994-1002, December.
    6. Massimiliano Piacenza, 2000. "The Public Transit Systems In Italy: A Critical Analysis Of The Regulatory Framework," CERIS Working Paper 200016, Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY -NOW- Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY.
    7. Philippe Gagnepain, 1998. "Structures productives de l'industrie du transport urbain et effets des schémas réglementaires," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 135(4), pages 95-107.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mehdi Farsi & Massimo Filippini & Michael Kuenzle, 2006. "Cost Efficiency in Regional Bus Companies: An Application of Alternative Stochastic Frontier Models," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 40(1), pages 95-118, January.
    2. 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) ITALY -NOW- Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY.
    3. Judy Shaw-Er & Wang Chiang & Ya-Wen Chen, 2005. "Cost structure and technological change of local public transport: the Kaohsiung City Bus case," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(12), pages 1399-1410.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy
    • L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise

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