Technology and Incentive Regulation in the Italian Motorway Industry
Posted: 28 Oct 2008
Date Written: October 25, 2008
Making use of an original data set containing information on 20 Italian motorways concessionaires over the 1992-2004 period, we study the technology prevailing in the motorways industry in Italy. We focus on the estimation of the technical progress for the years covered by our sample, and on the measurement of the economies of scale and density. We find that the industry has experienced significant technical progress and that there are sizable economies of density and scale (at least up to a medium-large network size). These results provide valuable insights for regulatory purposes, notably for the definition of the optimal dimension of the network of a concessionaire and the correct setting of the X factor in the price cap formula, which is used to regulate the toll levels. We also control for the effects on the performance of the concessionaires due to the changes in the ownership structure and the regulatory regime, both introduced by the recent reform of the industry. We find that the productivity of the concessionaires has not increased with the adoption of a price cap regime, while it has benefited from the privatization process.
Keywords: Incentive regulation, technology, motorways industry
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