The Effect of Institutional Form on Airport Governance Efficiency
Craig, Steven G.
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We explore the effect of government institutions on the performance of U.S. airports, e.g. city operated airports compared to single purpose authorities,. Single purpose authorities have operating rules specific to airports, so should achieve operational efficiencies. Alternatively, they also have more autonomy at conducting rent dissipating activities. We estimate a modified McFadden symmetric generalized cost function for airports to distinguish among technical efficiency, optimal input use (allocative efficiency), and technical change over time. We find authorities have a significantly higher level of technical efficiency. Cities, however, appear more nimble at adopting labor cost saving innovations over time. About 1/3 of the cost saving, however, appears to be dissipated through higher employee wages, and a slower rate of labor saving technical change.
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