The cost efficiency of water utilities: when does public ownership matter?

Pazzi, Silvia and Tortosa-ausina, Emili and Duygun, Meryem and Zambelli, Simona (2016) The cost efficiency of water utilities: when does public ownership matter? Local Government Studies, 42 (6). pp. 980-1003. ISSN 1743-9388

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Abstract

This study explores the impact of different ownership types on the efficiency of water utilities. Theories and evidence have shown a puzzling relationship between ownership and performance. Moreover, relatively recent contributions (Andrews et al. 2011) have argued that this relationship can be further convoluted by the effect of organisational and environmental variables. The current study aims to contribute to this literature by providing some empirical evidence for Italy, by proposing a methodology that combines non-parametric efficiency estimation and cluster analysis. Our main findings indicate that privately owned utilities indirectly controlled by a public organisation reach the highest level of efficiency but, when size and geographical location enter the analysis, ownership has a stronger significant effect on efficiency, and mixed utilities gain higher cost efficiency. Therefore, we may conclude that administrative reforms about privatisation and the institutional setting should consider a set of variables that characterise each individual organisation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Local Government Studies on 19 Aug 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/03003930.2016.1207630
Keywords: efficiency, geographical location, ownership, size, water utilities
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > Nottingham University Business School
Identification Number: 10.1080/03003930.2016.1207630
Depositing User: Howis, Jennifer
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2017 12:13
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2017 03:58
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/41339

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