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The Effects of Competition Policy on TFP Growth: Some Evidence from the Malaysian Electricity Supply Industry


  • Kok Fong See

    (CEPA - School of Economics, The University of Queensland)

  • Tim Coelli

    (CEPA - School of Economics, The University of Queensland)


The main objectives of this paper are to measure total factor productivity (TFP) growth in the electricity supply industry in Peninsular Malaysia from 1975 to 2005 and to assess the impact of private entry reforms upon TFP in this industry. Prior to 1995, a government-linked, vertically-integrated electricity utility, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), was essentially the sole operator. However, since 1995 privately-owned Independent Power Producers (IPPs) have also begun generating electricity, all of which is purchased by TNB under fixed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). The introduction of IPPs has reduced the need for TNB to find finance for new power plants. It has been argued that the participation of IPPs in the electricity generation industry should also facilitate improvements in industry productivity; however this proposition is yet to be tested. In this study we calculate TFP growth using Törnqvist index methods, finding that there is no direct evidence of productivity improvements attributable to the privatization. Furthermore, it is not clear that consumers have benefited from this, since the PPAs have generally been quite generous to the IPPs in terms of risk sharing and prices paid.

Suggested Citation

  • Kok Fong See & Tim Coelli, 2009. "The Effects of Competition Policy on TFP Growth: Some Evidence from the Malaysian Electricity Supply Industry," CEPA Working Papers Series WP062009, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:qld:uqcepa:73

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    1. repec:hrv:faseco:33077889 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Tim Coelli & Antonio Estache & Sergio Perelman & Lourdes Trujillo, 2003. "A Primer on Efficiency Measurement for Utilities and Transport Regulators," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15149, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dimitri Dimitropoulos and Adonis Yatchew, 2017. "Is Productivity Growth in Electricity Distribution Negative? An Empirical Analysis Using Ontario Data," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    2. See, Kok Fong & Coelli, Tim, 2013. "Estimating and decomposing productivity growth of the electricity generation industry in Malaysia: A stochastic frontier analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 207-214.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities


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