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Performance Measurement in the Australian Water Supply Industry

Various government-owned businesses provide water supply services to Australian residents. With the advent of recent competition and regulatory reforms in infrastructure industries in Australia, more and more of these businesses are now facing new types of incentive-based regulatory regimes. This has led to a desire for more information on the performance of these businesses, both relative to each other and over time. In this study we use panel data on the 18 largest Australian water services businesses, observed over an eight-year period from 1995/6 to 2002/3, to measure the relative efficiency and productivity growth of these businesses. Data envelopment analysis (DEA) methods are used to obtain estimates of the multi-input, multi-output production technology. The potential use of these performance measures in price-cap regulation is discussed, where the effects of variable selection and data quality upon empirical results is emphasised.

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File URL: http://www.uq.edu.au/economics/cepa/docs/WP/WP012005.pdf
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia in its series CEPA Working Papers Series with number WP012005.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:qld:uqcepa:19
Contact details of provider: Postal: St. Lucia, Qld. 4072
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Web page: http://www.uq.edu.au/economics/
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  1. 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.
  2. Cubbin, John & Tzanidakis, George, 1998. "Regression versus data envelopment analysis for efficiency measurement: an application to the England and Wales regulated water industry," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 75-85, June.
  3. Coelli, Tim J., 1995. "Recent Developments In Frontier Modelling And Efficiency Measurement," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 39(03), December.
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  5. Antonio Estache & Martin Rossi, 2002. "How different is the efficiency of Public and Private Water Companies in Asia," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/43984, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Thanassoulis, Emmanuel, 2000. "DEA and its use in the regulation of water companies," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 1-13, November.
  7. Carrington, Roger & Coelli, Tim & Groom, Eric, 2002. "International Benchmarking for Monopoly Price Regulation: The Case of Australian Gas Distribution," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 191-216, March.
  8. Byrnes, Patricia & Grosskopf, Shawna & Hayes, Kathy, 1986. "Efficiency and Ownership: Further Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(2), pages 337-41, May.
  9. 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.
  10. Crain, W Mark & Zardkoohi, Asghar, 1978. "A Test of the Property-Rights Theory of the Firm: Water Utilities in the United States," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 395-408, October.
  11. Arunava Bhattacharyya & Elliott Parker & Kambiz Raffiee, 1994. "An Examination of the Effect of Ownership on the Relative Efficiency of Public and Private Water Utilities," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(2), pages 197-209.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. John Ashton, 2000. "Cost efficiency in the UK water and sewerage industry," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(7), pages 455-458.
  15. Teeples, Ronald K & Glyer, David, 1987. "Cost of Water Delivery Systems: Specification and Ownership Effects," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(3), pages 399-408, August.
  16. Saal, David S & Parker, David, 2001. "Productivity and Price Performance in the Privatized Water and Sewerage Companies of England and Wales," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 61-90, July.
  17. Anwandter, Lars & Ozuna, Teofilo Jr., 2002. "Can public sector reforms improve the efficiency of public water utilities?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(04), pages 687-700, October.
  18. E L Lynk, 1993. "Privatisation, joint production and the comparative efficiencies of private and public ownership: the UK water industry case," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 14(2), pages 98-116, May.
  19. Fare, Rolf & Shawna Grosskopf & Mary Norris & Zhongyang Zhang, 1994. "Productivity Growth, Technical Progress, and Efficiency Change in Industrialized Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 66-83, March.
  20. Bhattacharyya, Arunava & Harris, Thomas R. & Narayanan, Rangesan & Raffiee, Kambiz, 1995. "Technical Efficiency Of Rural Water Utilities," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 20(02), December.
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