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Production and cost functions and their application to the port sector : a literature survey


  • Beatrice Tovar
  • Sergio Jara-Diaz
  • Lourdes Trujillo


Seaports provide multiple services to ships, cargo, and passengers. These services can be performed by a combination of public and private initiatives. Usually, the role of public sector institutions is to regulate and supervise private firms. In performing that task public sector institutions require in-depth knowledge of firms'cost structure. This paper offers a review of the literature about ports'cost structure and of its implications for regulation. The paper argues that the operation of port terminals should be analyzed by means of multiproduct theory. This approach allows the calculation of several cost indicators (economies of scale, scope, and so forth) which are key tools to help regulators.

Suggested Citation

  • Beatrice Tovar & Sergio Jara-Diaz & Lourdes Trujillo, 2003. "Production and cost functions and their application to the port sector : a literature survey," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3123, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3123

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Baumol, William J, 1982. "Contestable Markets: An Uprising in the Theory of Industry Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 1-15, March.
    2. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Tretheway, Michael W, 1980. "Flexible Cost Functions for Multiproduct Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 477-481, August.
    3. John C. Panzar & Robert D. Willig, 1977. "Economies of Scale in Multi-Output Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(3), pages 481-493.
    4. Roller, Lars-Hendrik, 1990. "Proper Quadratic Cost Functions with an Application to the Bell System," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 202-210, May.
    5. Burgess, David F, 1974. "A Cost Minimization Approach to Import Demand Equations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(2), pages 225-234, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wilmsmeier, Gordon & Hoffmann, Jan & Sanchez, Ricardo J., 2006. "The Impact of Port Characteristics on International Maritime Transport Costs," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 117-140, January.
    2. Cullinane, Kevin & Talley, Wayne K., 2006. "Introduction," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-10, January.
    3. Bichou, Khalid, 2006. "Chapter 24 Review of Port Performance Approaches and a Supply Chain Framework to Port Performance Benchmarking," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 567-598, January.
    4. Santiago Herrera & Gaobo Pang, 2008. "Eficiency of Infrastructure: The Case of Container Ports," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 9(1), pages 165-194.
    5. Brooks, Mary R., 2006. "Chapter 25 Issues in Measuring Port Devolution Program Performance: A Managerial Perspective," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 599-629, January.
    6. Wilmsmeier, Gordon & Sanchez, Ricardo J., 2009. "The relevance of international transport costs on food prices: Endogenous and exogenous effects," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 56-66.
    7. repec:pal:easeco:v:43:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1057_eej.2015.56 is not listed on IDEAS


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