Facebook LinkedIn Twitter

IAEE Members and subscribers to The Energy Journal: Please log in to access the full text article or receive discounted pricing for this article.

Prepress Content: The following article is a preprint of a scientific paper that has completed the peer-review process and been accepted for publication within The Energy Journal.

While the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) makes every effort to ensure the veracity of the material and the accuracy of the data therein, IAEE is not responsible for the citing of this content until the article is actually printed in a final version of The Energy Journal. For example, preprinted articles are often moved from issue to issue affecting page numbers, and actual volume and issue numbers. Care should be given when citing Energy Journal preprint articles.

A Spatial Stochastic Frontier Model with Omitted Variables: Electricity Distribution in Norway

An important methodological issue in efficiency analysis for incentive regulation of utilities is how to account for the effect of unobserved cost drivers such as environmental factors. We combine a spatial econometric approach with stochastic frontier analysis to control for unobserved environmental conditions when measuring efficiency of electricity distribution utilities. Our empirical strategy relies on the geographic location of firms as a source of information that has previously not been explored in the literature. The underlying idea is to utilise data from neighbouring firms that can be spatially correlated as proxies for unobserved cost drivers. We illustrate this approach using a dataset of Norwegian distribution utilities for the 2004-2011 period. We show that the lack of information on weather and geographic conditions can be compensated with data from surrounding firms. The methodology can be used in efficiency analysis and regulation of other utilities sectors where unobservable cost drivers are important, e.g. gas, water, agriculture, fishing.

Download Executive Summary Purchase ( $25 )

Keywords: spatial econometrics, stochastic frontier models, environmental conditions, electricity distribution networks

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.39.3.lore

References: Reference information is available for this article. Join IAEE, log in, or purchase the article to view reference data.

Published in Volume 39, Number 3 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.