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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.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3123.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3123
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  1. 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 202-10, May.
  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 477-81, August.
  3. Burgess, David F, 1974. "A Cost Minimization Approach to Import Demand Equations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(2), pages 225-34, May.
  4. Panzar, John C & Willig, Robert D, 1977. "Economies of Scale in Multi-Output Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 481-93, August.
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