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The role of environmental factors in water utilities' technical efficiency. Empirical evidence from Spanish companies

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This article computes input-specific scores of technical efficiency for a sample of water utilities located in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. In addition, differences in efficiency between different operating environments are investigated. Concerning the debate about ownership and efficiency, we find that privately owned companies outperform public utilities in their management of labour. Furthermore, technical efficiency is found to be greater among firms located in highly populated areas and for utilities providing water services to tourist municipalities. Finally, no empirical evidence supporting the greater technical efficiency of consortia of water utilities, a managerial strategy strongly encouraged by regional politicians, is found.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036840601007310

Affiliations: 1: Facultad de Economia. Dpto, Economia Aplicada II, Universidad de Valencia, Campus dels, Tarongers 46022, Valencia, Spain 2: Facultad de Ciencias Economicas y Empresariales, Dpto. Economia Aplicada, Fundacion Escuela de Negocios Andalucia and Universidad de Granada, Campus de, Cartuja, 18011, Granada, Spain 3: Facultad de Ciencias Politicas y Sociologia, Dpto. Economia Aplicada, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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