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Public and Private Ownership of British Industry 1820–1990$
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James Foreman-Peck and Robert Millward

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203599

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203599.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2019

Ownership and Cost Effectiveness: Evidence from the Early Twentieth Century

Ownership and Cost Effectiveness: Evidence from the Early Twentieth Century

Chapter:
(p.197) 6 Ownership and Cost Effectiveness: Evidence from the Early Twentieth Century
Source:
Public and Private Ownership of British Industry 1820–1990
Author(s):

James Foreman-Peck

Robert Millward

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203599.003.0006

The question of ownership has to be distinguished from the question of market structure. Both can affect efficiency. This chapter presents new findings for this period in Britain. In the first main section, some general theoretical considerations about performance are considered along with some of the findings in the current, mainly American literature. Then the chapter focuses on electricity and gas in Britain and starts with a summary of the main economic trends and main features of economic organisation in the period 1890–1940. Contemporary attempts at comparing municipal enterprises and private companies in this period are reviewed. The chapter then sets out the arguments for assessing performance in terms of cost functions, examines the general factors which determine costs, and describes the data to be used for electricity and gas undertakings.

Keywords:   ownership, market structure, electricity, gas, Britain, economic trends, municipal enterprises, private companies, costs

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