Facoltà di scienze economiche

The influence of ownership on the cost of bus service provision in Switzerland : an empirical illustration

Filippini, Massimo ; Prioni, Paola

In deregulated transport markets, a firm’s ownership status and management system represent an important issue. Economic theory suggests that productivity and performance are higher in the private than in the public sector. In Switzerland, providers of bus transportation are traditionally corporations, though a large part of their equity shares are still held by the public sector (federal... More

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    Summary
    In deregulated transport markets, a firm’s ownership status and management system represent an important issue. Economic theory suggests that productivity and performance are higher in the private than in the public sector. In Switzerland, providers of bus transportation are traditionally corporations, though a large part of their equity shares are still held by the public sector (federal government, cantons, municipalities). In this paper we examine the potential impact of ownership on the cost of bus service provision for a sample of private, public and mixed bus companies in Switzerland. We have considered the estimation of a translog cost model for 34 bus transit companies observed over 5 years (1991-1995). The results only partially confirm that if the private sector holds shares in the company’s capital, efficiency is enhanced. In addition, measures of economies of scale and density are derived and discussed within the actual public transport policy.