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Technical Efficiency in Public and Private Sectors in India: Evidence from the Post-Reform Years


  • T. T. Ram Mohan

    (Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad)

  • Subhash C. Ray

    (University of Connecticut)


While India’s state-owned enterprises are widely believed to be inefficient, there is a dearth of studies that document such inefficiency on any rigorous basis. Yet, since improvement in firm efficiency is one of the basic objectives of privatization, it is important to assess whether efficiency is indeed lower in the public sector than in the private sector. This paper compares the performance of state-owned enterprises with those of private sector firms in respect of technical efficiency. The comparison is made in eight different sectors over the period 1991-92 to 1998-99. We measure technical efficiency using the method of Data Envelopment Analysis. Judging by the average levels of technical efficiency, no conclusive evidence of superior performance on the part of the private sector is found.

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  • T. T. Ram Mohan & Subhash C. Ray, 2003. "Technical Efficiency in Public and Private Sectors in India: Evidence from the Post-Reform Years," Working papers 2003-22, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2003-22

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Boardman, Anthony E & Vining, Aidan R, 1989. "Ownership and Performance in Competitive Environments: A Comparison of the Performance of Private, Mixed, and State-Owned Enterprises," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-33, April.
    2. Megginson, William L & Nash, Robert C & van Randenborgh, Matthias, 1994. " The Financial and Operating Performance of Newly Privatized Firms: An International Empirical Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(2), pages 403-452, June.
    3. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
    4. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R, 1980. "The Relative Efficiency of Public and Private Firms in a Competitive Environment: The Case of Canadian Railroads," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 958-976, October.
    5. Gautam Ahuja & Sumit Majumdar, 1998. "An Assessment of the Performance of Indian State-Owned Enterprises," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 113-132, March.
    6. Rafael La Porta & Florencio López-de-Silanes, 1999. "The Benefits of Privatization: Evidence from Mexico," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1193-1242.
    7. R. D. Banker & A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper, 1984. "Some Models for Estimating Technical and Scale Inefficiencies in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(9), pages 1078-1092, September.
    8. Majumdar, Sumit K, 1998. "Assessing Comparative Efficiency of the State-Owned Mixed and Private Sectors in Indian Industry," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 96(1-2), pages 1-24, July.
    9. Varian, Hal R, 1984. "The Nonparametric Approach to Production Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 579-597, May.
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