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A subadditivity test for the cost function of the principal European railways

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The objective of this paper is the comparison of the efficiency levels for a set of European rail companies in monopoly situations with respect to hypothetical duopoly situations. More specifically, the aim is to test whether the operating costs function of such companies is subadditive. A cost function is subadditive when a single firm can produce all relevant output vectors cheaper than two or more firms. In order to do so the test developed by Evans and Heckman (1984) will be used. It was applied for the American phone company Bell System to assess the convenience of separating the management of local and long-distance services. The results indicate that at least for the companies of a greater size, an efficiency increase (as measured by lower costs), would be obtained from the separation of the current companies in two different companies of a lower size. Besides, these efficiency gains are greater when the two new companies specialize their production, either on passenger or on freight traffic.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Departamento de Análisis Económico, Campus del Tarongers, s/n, Universidad de Valencia, E-46022 Valencia, Spain

Publication date: July 1, 2000

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