DP4319 | Railway (De)Regulation: A European Efficiency Comparison

Publication Date

23/03/2004

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Abstract

Many European countries have sought to increase the efficiency of national railroad companies through a range of reforms: separating infrastructure and operations, creating independent regulatory institutions and providing access to the network to third parties. To estimate the effects of reforms on railroad efficiency, we investigate a new World Bank panel dataset that covers many EU countries over a period of 20 years. We compare the passenger traffic efficiency of national railroad companies by means of a production frontier model and evaluate the effects of reforms on efficiency. We find that reforms have efficiency-increasing effects but that the effect of reforms depends on sequencing: the introduction of multiple reforms in a package has at best neutral effects, but sequential reforms improve efficiency. Using the LISREL technique, we find that our results are robust against potential problems of endogeneity.