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Adjustment Costs and Returns to Scale: Some Theoretical and Empirical Aspects

G. Campbell Watkins

Year: 1993
Volume: Volume 14
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol14-No1-11
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Abstract:
In specifying third generation models of factor demands, adjustment costs are frequently treated as a function of net rather than gross investment. Such specifications assume replacement investment is frictionless and in equilibrium adjustment costs are zero. Recognition that adjustment costs may reflect not only net but also gross investment leads to a more complex model. But the revised model implies increasing long-run average costs. Such a model can still be specified to impose constant long-run average costs, or constant returns to scale. The latter condition is often desirable to avoid confusion in estimating technological progress. However, empirical work suggests that conventionally labelled expressions of adjustment costs embrace other influences. Proper measurement and identification of such costs may well require more finely tuned approaches.



Yardstick Regulation of Electricity Distribution – Disentangling Short-run and Long-run Inefficiencies

Subal C. Kumbhakar and Gudbrand Lien

Year: 2017
Volume: Volume 38
Number: Number 5
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5547/01956574.38.5.skum
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Abstract:
In this paper we estimate the short-run, long-run and overall efficiency of Norwegian electricity distribution companies for the period 2000-2013 controlling for both noise and company effects. Short-run inefficiency is the part of inefficiency that is allowed to adjust freely over time for each company, but long-run (persistent) inefficiency remains constant over time, although it is allowed to vary across companies. For robustness check we also consider two additional models in which either company effects are not controlled or these are treated as inefficiency. The production technology is represented by a translog input distance function in all three models. We find that technical change and returns to scale are quite robust across the models. However, the efficiency scores across the three models we consider are not correlated strongly. We conclude that the regulators and practitioners should take extra caution in using the proper model in practice, especially when the efficiency measures are used to reward/punish companies through incentives for better performance.



Size, Subsidies and Technical Efficiency in Renewable Energy Production: The Case of Austrian Biogas Plants

Andreas Eder and Bernhard Mahlberg

Year: 2018
Volume: Volume 39
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.39.1.aede
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Abstract:
This study estimates the efficiency of biogas plants and identifies determinants of inefficiencies. Data Envelopment Analysis is applied on a sample of 86 Austrian biogas plants for the year 2014, covering about one third of the installed electric capacity of Austrian biogas plants. We decompose technical efficiency into scale efficiency and pure technical efficiency (managerial efficiency). In a second-stage regression analysis the effects of subsidies and other variables on managerial efficiency are investigated. The main results are: i) 34% of biogas plants in our sample are technically efficient, 40% are scale efficient and 50% are managerial efficient; ii) small biogas plants (≤100 kW) are scale inefficient exhibiting increasing returns to scale; iii) production subsidies show a significant, negative relationship to managerial efficiency. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that production subsidies provide a disincentive to managerial effort of plant operators.



Heterogeneous Returns to Scale of Wind Farms in Northern Europe

Giacomo Benini, Maria Carvalho, Ludovic Gaudard, Patrick Jochem, and Kaveh Madani

Year: 2019
Volume: Volume 40
Number: The New Era of Energy Transition
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.SI1.gben
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Abstract:
The present paper tries to identify the optimal size of a wind farm using North European data. An empirical analysis of 61 sites constructed between 2004 and 2014 suggests that economies-of-scale are highly heterogeneous across on-shore and off-shore projects. A Varying Coefficient Model captures such diversity by making the impact of the farm site on the amount of its potential capacity a non-linear function of the number of installed turbines. The resulting scale elasticities suggest that small on-shore farms have a bigger per-turbines output than off-shore ones, while the opposite is true for big projects.





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