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

Caroline Stiel, Astrid Cullmann and Maria Nieswand

German Economic Review, 2018, vol. 19, issue 4, 401-425

Abstract: 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.

Date: 2018
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German Economic Review is currently edited by Bernhard Felderer, Joseph F. Francois, Ivo Welch, Urs Schweizer and David E. Wildasin

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