Yardstick regulation and the operators' productivity of railway industry in Japan

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, mode - rail, organisation - privatisation, organisation - regulation, organisation - performance


Yardstick regulation, Railway industry, TFP (Total Factor Productivity)


In Japan, the yardstick regulation was implemented as an incentive only for large private railway companies, in 1997. This study examined the effects of yardstick regulation on productivity of private railway companies by comparing TFP (Total Factor Productivity) of a large private railway group with that of a small private railway group in Kansai metropolitan area. We interpreted a railway's service to conduct the stratified 3T activities; Track, Train and Transport and estimated TFP for individual and total 3T activities. Estimation results showed that both railway groups had increased their TFP of total 3T activities contributed by productivity improvements of track and train activities since 1997. On the other hand, we could not find obvious evidences to show that the yardstick regulation for large railway companies had generated productivity improvements compared with small railway companies to which the traditional rate of return regulation is applied.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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