Raffiee, Kambiz

December, 1995

By: Bhattacharyya, Arunava; Harris, Thomas R.; Narayanan, Rangesan; Raffiee, Kambiz
Technical efficiency of rural water utilities is determined using frontier production functions. An indirect production function is developed to model the two-step production process of a local government-controlled firm. Data from 26 rural Nevada water utilities are used to estimate inefficiency in terms of firm-specific variables. A multistep estimation procedure is used instead of single-step maximum likelihood estimation. Model selection tests are used to choose the best model. Privately owned utilities are most efficient; self-governing water districts are the least efficient. Municipal governments operate the most and least efficient utilities.