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Publications of the Project: Municipal infrastructure companies against the background of energy policy and demographic change (KOMIED) – Empirical analyses using micro level data of the energy, water and waste sector

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  • DIW Economic Bulletin 20 / 2016

    Private Utilities Are No More Efficient Than Public Utilities: Six Questions to Astrid Cullmann

  • DIW Economic Bulletin 20 / 2016

    No Differences in Efficiency Between Public and Private Utilities

    The increase in municipal economic activity in the utilities sector frequently comes under scrutiny. It is presumed that public utilities have less incentive to provide efficient service than private companies. This could result in excessive costs and prices for end users. New microdata on German energy supply companies allow to conduct an empirical analysis for the whole of Germany for the first time. ...

    2016| Astrid Cullmann, Maria Nieswand, Stefan Seifert, Caroline Stiel
  • DIW Economic Bulletin 20 / 2016

    A (Re)Municipalization Trend among Energy Utilities: Truth or Myth?

    In the 1990s, a number of municipalities started privatizing their energy utilities; in recent years, there has been an intensive debate about whether a paradigm shift has taken place since then. Cities and municipalities have considered putting the energy, water, gas and heat supply back into the hands of public companies; Berlin and Hamburg are two prominent examples. But is there really an overarching ...

    2016| Astrid Cullmann, Maria Nieswand, Stefan Seifert, Caroline Stiel
  • DIW Economic Bulletin 42/43 / 2015

    No Decline in Investment in Public-Sector Energy and Water Supply

    A considerable share of public investment comes not only from public budgets but also from public utility companies. One major area of investment is energy and water supply, where the utility companies have substantial fixed assets in the form of distribution infrastructure. Using new microdata which has not been analyzed before, the present report shows that—unlike with the core public budgets—public ...

    2015| Astrid Cullmann, Maria Nieswand, Caroline Stiel
  • DIW Economic Bulletin 6 / 2015

    No Barriers to Investment in Electricity and Gas Distribution Grids through Incentive Regulation

    Since early 2009, electricity and gas distribution in Germany has been subject to incentive regulation designed to ensure greater efficiency in electricity and gas grid operation. However, it remains to be seen how changes to the regulatory framework will affect the investment behavior of distribution system operators. Against this background, the present study empirically analyzes the investment activities ...

    2015| Astrid Cullmann, Nicola Dehnen, Maria Nieswand, Ferdinand Pavel
  • Diskussionspapiere 1641 / 2017

    Productive Efficiency and Ownership When Market Restructuring Affects Production Technologies

    While the link between the ownership and productive efficiency of firms has been discussed extensively, no consensus exists regarding the superiority of one or the other in non-competitive, regulated environments. This paper applies a flexibleproduction model to test for efficiency differences associated with ownership types while allowing the production to adapt to market restructuring over time. ...

    2017| Astrid Cullmann, Maria Nieswand, Julia Rechlitz
  • Diskussionspapiere 1585 / 2016

    Operational Conditions in Regulatory Benchmarking Models: A Monte Carlo Analysis

    Benchmarking methods are widely used in the regulation of firms in network industries working under heterogeneous exogenous environments. In this paper we compare three recently developed estimators, namely conditional DEA (Daraio and Simar, 2005, 2007b), latent class SFA (Orea and Kumbhakar, 2004; Greene, 2005), and the StoNEZD approach (Johnson and Kuosmanen, 2011) by means of Monte Carlo simulation ...

    2016| Maria Nieswand, Stefan Seifert
  • Diskussionspapiere 1576 / 2016

    Cost Structure and Economies of Scale in German Water Supply

    Potable water supply in Germany is highly fragmented. A consolidation of the industry could, therefore, lead to lower cost of water supply and price savings for the customers. In this paper we estimate a total cost function for potable water supply based on a unique sample of German water utilities observed between 2004 and 2010. Newly available data allows for a detailed cost modeling approach. Capital ...

    2016| Michael Zschille
  • Diskussionspapiere 1571 / 2016

    Semi-Parametric Measures of Scale Characteristics of German Natural Gas-Fired Electricity Generation

    Scale characteristics are key properties of production functions that determine optimal firm sizes, and have considerable policy implications for sectors undergoing restructuring. However, estimates of scale characteristics typically vary with the assumptions of the underlying empirical model. This paper derives estimators of scale efficiency and scale elasticity for semi-parametric stochastic non-smooth ...

    2016| Stefan Seifert
  • Diskussionspapiere 1555 / 2016

    Finding the Right Yardstick: Regulation under Heterogeneous Environments

    Revenue cap regulation is often combined with systematic benchmarking to reveal the managerial inefficiencies when regulating natural monopolies. One example is the European energy sector, where benchmarking methods are based on actual cost data, which are influenced by managerial inefficiency as well as operational heterogeneity. This paper demonstrates how a conditional nonparametric method, which ...

    2016| Endre Bjoerndal, Mette Bjoerndal, Astrid Cullmann, Maria Nieswand