Cost Structure of the Portuguese Water Industry: a Cubic Cost Function Application
The main scope of this paper is to confirm, or otherwise, the idea usually presented in national reports and strategic programmes for the water sector that the Portuguese water market is a natural monopoly. Based on a multi-product approach (considering the m3 of potable water delivered and wastewater collected as the outputs) we use a cubic functional specification to estimate water utilities cost function, and then to look for the presence of economies of scale and of scope. The estimated results show that the average production scale is below the estimated minimum efficient scale and that large utilities have moderate overall diseconomies of scale and scope. In addition, there are moderate economies of scope from the joint production of potable water and wastewater collection up to the minimum efficient scale, suggesting advantages in merging small and medium sized contiguous water utilities. Sufficient conditions for subadditivity of costs are not verified throughout the range of outputs, allowing us to conclude that the Portuguese water industry is not a natural monopoly for all output vectors.
|Date of creation:||2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: + 351 239 790 500
Fax: +351 239 403511
Web page: http://www.uc.pt/en/feuc/gemf/Email:
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Baumol, William J & Willig, Robert D, 1986. "Contestability: Developments since the Book," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(0), pages 9-36, Suppl. No.
- Kwoka, John E., 2002. "Vertical economies in electric power: evidence on integration and its alternatives," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 653-671, May.
- Giovanni Fraquelli & Massimiliano Piacenza & Davide Vannoni, 2004. "Scope and scale economies in multi-utilities: evidence from gas, water and electricity combinations," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(18), pages 2045-2057.
- Serge Garcia & Alban Thomas, 2001. "The Structure of Municipal Water Supply Costs: Application to a Panel of French Local Communities," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 5-29, July.
- Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel & Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "A Survey of Functional Forms in the Economic Analysis of Production," Histoy of Economic Thought Chapters, in: Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel (ed.), Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications, volume 1, chapter 4 McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought.
- Cécile Aubert & Arnaud Reynaud, 2005. "The Impact of Regulation on Cost Efficiency: An Empirical Analysis of Wisconsin Water Utilities," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 383-409, 07.
- Ford, J L & Warford, J J, 1969. "Cost Functions for the Water Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 53-63, November.
- Renzetti, Steven, 1992. "Evaluating the welfare effects of reforming municipal water prices," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 147-163, March.
- Bhattacharyya, Arunava & Harris, Thomas R. & Narayanan, Rangesan & Raffiee, Kambiz, 1995. "Specification and estimation of the effect of ownership on the economic efficiency of the water utilities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 759-784, December.
- Maria García-valiñas, 2005. "Efficiency and Equity in Natural Resources Pricing: A Proposal for Urban Water Distribution Service," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(2), pages 183-204, October.
- Feigenbaum, Susan & Teeples, Ronald, 1983. "Public versus Private Water Delivery: A Hedonic Cost Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 672-78, November.
- Paola Fabbri & Giovanni Fraquelli, 2000. "Costs and Structure of Technology in the Italian Water Industry," Empirica, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 65-82, March.
- David S Saal & David Parker, 2000. "The impact of privatization and regulation on the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales: a translog cost function model," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(6), pages 253-268.
- Baumol, William J. & Willig, Robert D., 1986. "Contestability: Developments Since the Book," Working Papers 86-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, June.
- John Ashton, 2000. "Cost efficiency in the UK water and sewerage industry," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(7), pages 455-458.
- Baumol, William J, 1977. "On the Proper Cost Tests for Natural Monopoly in a Multiproduct Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 809-22, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gmf:wpaper:2006-09. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sara Santos)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.