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Do Private Utilities Outperform Local Government-Owned Utilities? Evidence from German Retail Electricity

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Caroline Stiel, Astrid Cullmann, Maria Nieswand

In: German Economic Review 19 (2018), 4, S. 401-425


Against the background of remunicipalisation trends in European public service sectors, this paper estimates firm-level productivity for German electricity retailers and tests whether the ownership type has a significant impact on productivity. We specify a production function for the retail sector with labour and external services as main inputs, which is estimated using a control function approach. Employing a newly constructed dataset on German utilities by the German Federal Statistical Office for the years 2003-12, we find that firm-level productivity generally increased until 2008 but not afterwards. We do not find any evidence for ownership having an impact on productivity.

Caroline Stiel

Research Associate in the Entrepreneurship Department

Astrid Cullmann

Research Associate in the Energy, Transportation, Environment Department

JEL-Classification: D24;L11;C23;L94
Keywords: Productivity, retail electricity, ownership, structural production function

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