Price-cap regulation in the English and Welsh water industry:a proposal for measuring productivity performance


Privately owned water utilities typically operate under a regulated monopoly regime. Price-cap regulation has been introduced as a means to enhance efficiency and innovation. The main objective of this paper is to propose a methodology for measuring productivity change across companies and over time when the sample size is limited. An empirical application is developed for the UK water and sewerage companies (WaSCs) for the period 1991-2008. A panel index approach is applied to decompose and derive unit-specific productivity growth as a function of the productivity growth achieved by benchmark firms, and the catch-up to the benchmark firm achieved by less productive firms. The results indicated that significant gains in productivity occurred after 2000, when the regulator set tighter reviews. However, the average WaSC still must improve towards the benchmarking firm by 2.69% over a period of five years to achieve comparable performance. This study is relevant to regulators who are interested in developing comparative performance measurement when the number of water companies that can be evaluated is limited. Moreover, setting an appropriate X factor is essential to improve the efficiency of water companies and this study helps to achieve this challenge.

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Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Economics, Finance & Entrepreneurship
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Operations & Information Management
Additional Information: © 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Supplementary data available on the journal website.
Uncontrolled Keywords: panel index numbers,productivity decomposition,regulation,water industry,X factor,Business and International Management,Development,Law,Sociology and Political Science,Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Publication ISSN: 1878-4356
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2024 07:14
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2016 14:00
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2016-08-01
Published Online Date: 2016-05-31
Accepted Date: 2016-04-11
Submitted Date: 2014-12-30
Authors: Maziotis, Alexandros
Saal, David
Thanassoulis, Emmanuel (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-3769-5374)
Molinos-Senante, María

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