Theory matters! Efficiency measurement and water utilities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As is the case of other infrastructure sectors the availability of efficiency estimation software based on statistical inference - freely distributed via the internet and relatively easy to use - recently inflated the number of corresponding applications in the water sector. The robustness of regulatory measures based on inferences from efficiency measures nevertheless crucially depends on theoretically well-founded estimates. This is illustrated by using an empirical example of an inconsistent technical efficiency frontier for water utilities in Germany.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-261
Number of pages11
JournalWater Science and Technology: Water Supply
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Efficiency measurement
  • Microeconomic theory
  • Water utilities


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