First Advisor

John S. Oh

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Systems Science


Systems Science




Electric utilities -- United States, Electric utilities -- United States -- Mathematical models



Physical Description

4, x, 172 leaves: ill. 28 cm.


Since the onset of the recession in the 1970's, consumers have frequently expressed frustration with what appear to be ever-increasing utility bills, blaming what they perceive as unnecessarily high rates on industry inefficiency. From the industry perspective, inefficiency is not only the problem which has developed since the recession. The more critical issue is the industry's transition from a noncompetitive environment to a competitive one. In the past, the electric utility industry did not have to compete because each utility operated in an exclusive service territory, and each was regulated by the government. However, currently the industry is experiencing increased competition, both indirect and direct. The indirect competition has taken the form of alternative energy sources such as natural gas and such new technology sources as solar, wind, co-generation power, etc. Electric utility companies have also experienced direct competition among themselves for industrial and commercial customers. The latter has resulted because the price of electricity significantly influences management decisions about where to locate their plants. Thus, efficient operation of electric generation is an extremely important task both for customers and industry. Productivity measures, then, are vital to the industry's economic well-being. This study used three different models to measure and compare the total factor productivity of 95 electric utility companies from 1974 to 1984: the translog econometric model, the superlative index model, and the Craig and Harris model. First, the translog econometric model was applied to Investigate characteristics of the production structure for the electric utility industry. Next, the total factor productivity was calculated using each of the three models. Finally, the superlative index model was applied for bilateral and multilateral comparisons to the following categories: industry as a whole, six regions, five types of generation, and four different output levels.


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Portland State University. Systems Science Ph. D. Program.

Persistent Identifier