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Does local public ownership matter for the efficiency of water utilities? Evidence from Italy

Author

Listed:
  • Meryem Duygun

    (Business School, Hull University, UK)

  • Silvia Pazzi

    (School of Management, University of Leicester, UK)

  • Emili Tortosa-Ausina

    (IVIE, Valencia and Department of Economics, Universidad Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)

  • Simona Zambelli

    (Dipartimento di Scienze Aziendali, Università di Bologna, Italy)

Abstract

This study explores the impact of ownership types on efficiency of Italian water utilities. Theories and evidence have shown a puzzling relationship between ownership and performance. Moreover, a recent study argues that this relationship can be further complicated by the effect of organisational and environmental variables. The current study aims to contribute to the debate about the impact of ownership structure on efficiency by including the effect of size and geographical location combining efficiency (obtained via nonparametric methods) with cluster analysis. The results show that ownership does not have a significant effect on efficiency per se; however the combination of size and geographical location provides interesting insights on the difference observed in the efficiency. Therefore, the paper argues that administrative reforms for institutional settings should consider a set of variables that characterise each organisation.

Suggested Citation

  • Meryem Duygun & Silvia Pazzi & Emili Tortosa-Ausina & Simona Zambelli, 2014. "Does local public ownership matter for the efficiency of water utilities? Evidence from Italy," Working Papers 2014/21, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
  • Handle: RePEc:jau:wpaper:2014/21
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    efficiency; water utilities; ownership; size; geographical location;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration

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