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A private-public comparison of bus service operators


  • Mizutani, Fumitoshi


  • Urakami, Takuya



Due to the steady increase in the use of private autos in Japan, the bus business is facing hard times. In particular, bus services owned by public organizations have been struggling with increases in operating deficits and subsidies, so that recently in many cities there has been a call for restructuring. Publicly and privately owned bus operators co-exist in the Japanese market. Although their financial situation is not completely healthy, privately owned bus operators have performed better than their publicly owned counterparts. The main purpose of this study is to find the key factors causing the differences in efficiency between private and public bus operators, especially in these areas: efficiency in service production, wage, utilization of vehicles, and cost. In this study, we will make an analysis using observations of both private and public bus operators in the Kansai region in Japan for the five years from 1996 to 2000. After we examine the performance differences between the two sectors, we will estimate with econometric methods certain functions such as the production function of bus services and the wage function. Based on these functions, we will evaluate the differences in efficiency between private and public bus operators.

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  • Mizutani, Fumitoshi & Urakami, Takuya, 2002. "A private-public comparison of bus service operators," ERSA conference papers ersa02p146, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa02p146

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Williams, Martin & Hall, Carol, 1981. "Returns to scale in the United States intercity bus industry," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 573-584, November.
    2. Williams, Martin, 1979. "Firm Size and Operating Costs in Urban Bus Transportation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 209-218, December.
    3. Jonathan Cowie & Darinka Asenova, 1999. "Organisation form, scale effects and efficiency in the British bus industry," Transportation, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 231-248, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cambini Carlo & Filippini Massimo & Piacenza Massimiliano & Vannoni Davide, 2011. "Corporatization and Firm Performance: Evidence from Publicly-Provided Local Utilities," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 191-213, July.
    2. Sakai, Hiroki & Shoji, Kenichi, 2010. "The effect of governmental subsidies and the contractual model on the publicly-owned bus sector in Japan," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 60-71.
    3. Simona Bigerna & Paolo Polinori, 2010. "Ambiente operativo ed efficienza nel settore del trasporto pubblico locale in Italia," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2010(3), pages 85-118.
    4. Filippini, M. & Koller, M. & Masiero, G., 2015. "Competitive tendering versus performance-based negotiation in Swiss public transport," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 158-168.
    5. William Roy, 2004. "Technical Efficiency and Contractual Incentives: the Case of Urban Public Transport in France," Post-Print halshs-00095304, HAL.
    6. Sakai, Hiroki & Takahashi, Yoshinori, 2013. "Ten years after bus deregulation in Japan: An analysis of institutional changes and cost efficiency," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 215-225.
    7. Pestana Barros, Carlos & Peypoch, Nicolas, 2010. "Productivity changes in Portuguese bus companies," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 295-302, September.

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