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Title: Costs and efficiency of highway concessionaires: a survey of Italian operators
Authors: Massiani, Jérôme
Ragazzi, Giorgio
Keywords: HighwayRegulationProductivityPrice-cap
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
ISTIEE Istituto per lo studio dei trasporti nell’integrazione economica europea
Source: Jérôme Massiani, Giorgio Ragazzi, "Costs and efficiency of highway concessionaires: a survey of Italian operators", in: European Transport / Trasporti Europei, XIV (2008) 38, pp. 85-106.
Series/Report no.: European Transport / Trasporti Europei
XIV (2008) 38
Measuring the productivity of highway concessionaires is very relevant, especially when a price cap
regulation is applied where tariff increases are based on expected improvements of productivity. Output
may be measured in terms of traffic or network length, or a combination of both, while quality of service
should ideally be accounted for. To measure productivity we consider only operating costs, as
amortization and financial costs depend upon the original highway design and historical costs. A cross
section analysis of the Italian concessionaires shows that: 1) operating costs depend on both traffic and
capacity; 2) economies of scale are relevant but their estimate is very sensitive to the model specification;
3) there are large differences in efficiency among operators, indicating that there could be significant
room for yardstick competition.
We subsequently consider the main economic data regarding the major Italian concessionaire
(Autostrade spa) over two decades. Revenues increased greatly, even more than traffic, while operating
costs remained substantially stable in real terms, as the automation of toll collection allowed the company
to reduce the number of collectors by almost half. Finally, a comparison between Italian and French
concessionaires shows that the latter have much lower operating costs, which cannot be entirely explained
by economies of scale or lower personnel costs.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-3997
Appears in Collections:European Transport / Trasporti Europei (2008) 38/XIII

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