Regulatory design and technical efficiency: public transport in France

Guillermo Díaz, Vincent Charles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The provision of local public transport in France involves private and public firms and the use of incentive contracts to regulate them. We study the effect of these institutional features on the sector’s efficiency using a long panel data of firms, with a two-stage estimation procedure. First, we use nonparametric data envelopment analysis techniques to estimate input usage efficiency, following a conditional approach that controls for differences in the environments in which the firms operate. Second, we estimate semiparametric censored regressions, using fixed effects to control for unobserved sources of heterogeneity. Our results point to a differential effect of private and mixed public-private companies. In particular, having the performance of public operators as the benchmark, efficiency is relatively higher for private firms, but lower when the service is delegated to a mixed public-private firm. In the latter case, the effects diverge by contract type: when the contract is of the cost reimbursement type, performance is lower than the public firm benchmark, while for other contract types, there are no statistically significant differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-350
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Regulatory Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Conditional efficiency measures
  • Data envelopment analysis (DEA)
  • Public transport
  • Regulation
  • Two-stage efficiency analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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