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Technical efficiency gains from port reform : the potential for yardstick competition in Mexico

Author

Listed:
  • Estache, Antonio
  • Gonzalez, Marianela
  • Trujillo, Lourdes

Abstract

The authors show how relatively standard methodologies can help to measure the efficiency gains from reforming the organization of port infrastructure, how those measures can be used to promote competition between ports, and how competition can be built into an incentive-driven regulatory regime. As illustration, they use a case study of port reform in mexico in 1993, the first efficiency analysis of port restructuring in a developing country. Their analysis, which covers 1996-99 and relies on a stochastic production frontier, shows that overall, Mexico has achieved annual efficiency gains of 6-8 percent in the use of port infrastructure since assigning its management to independent, decentralized operators. Changes in relative performance ratings are revealing. They identify consistent sets of leaders and laggards, including some that would not have been identified by partial productivity indicators commonly used in the sector. The authors'main conclusions: 1) Reforms have significantly improved average port performance. 2) The analytically sound performance rankings allowed by the port-specific efficiency measures can help to promote yardstick competition in the sector. These rankings are superior to those that would emerge from use of partial productivity indicators. They account for the joint effects of all inputs on outputs--which is crucial, because it avoids the risk of inconsistent rankings based on different partial indicators, arbitrarily chosen. Developing the database method to measure efficiency in countries with no strong tradition of database development is an enormous task--especially in transport sectors, where the tradition of generating databases useful to policymakers is in its infancy. The most immediate effect of this exercise was to reveal the poverty of the database in the Mexican port sector and the need for regulators to invest in its development.

Suggested Citation

  • Estache, Antonio & Gonzalez, Marianela & Trujillo, Lourdes, 2001. "Technical efficiency gains from port reform : the potential for yardstick competition in Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2637, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2637
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:cor:louvrp:-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Christian Ritter & Léopold Simar, 1997. "Pitfalls of Normal-Gamma Stochastic Frontier Models," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 167-182, May.
    3. Meeusen, Wim & van den Broeck, Julien, 1977. "Efficiency Estimation from Cobb-Douglas Production Functions with Composed Error," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 435-444, June.
    4. Forsund, Finn R. & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1980. "A survey of frontier production functions and of their relationship to efficiency measurement," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 5-25, May.
    5. Kodde, David A & Palm, Franz C, 1986. "Wald Criteria for Jointly Testing Equality and Inequality Restriction s," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1243-1248, September.
    6. Battese, G E & Coelli, T J, 1995. "A Model for Technical Inefficiency Effects in a Stochastic Frontier Production Function for Panel Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 325-332.
    7. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
    8. ZELLNER, Arnold & KMENTA, Jan & DREZE, Jacques H., 1966. "Specification and estimation of Cobb-Douglas production function models," CORE Discussion Papers RP 12, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos Pestana Barros & Zhongfei Chen & Peter Wanke, 2016. "Efficiency in Chinese seaports: 2002–2012," Maritime Economics & Logistics, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME), vol. 18(3), pages 295-316, September.
    2. Russell Pittman, 2009. "Competition Issues in Restructuring Ports and Railways, Including Brief Consideration of these Sectors in India," EAG Discussions Papers 200906, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
    3. Santiago Herrera & Gaobo Pang, 2008. "Eficiency of Infrastructure: The Case of Container Ports," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 9(1), pages 165-194.
    4. Sauer, J.F., 2005. "“Efficiency Flooding”: Black-Box Frontiers and Policy Implications," International Journal of Applied Econometrics and Quantitative Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 2(1), pages 17-52.
    5. Caldeirinha, Vitor R. & Felicio, J. Augusto, 2011. "A influência dos factores de caracterização dos portos no desempenho, medido por indicadores operacionais, financeiros e de eficiência
      [The influence of factors characterizing the performance of po
      ," MPRA Paper 30009, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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