Rosell, J. Urban Bus Contractual Regimes in Small- and Medium-Sized Municipalities: Competitive tendering or Negotiation? Transport Policy, 60, pp. 54-62.

Michael Beesley award for the best workshop paper presented at the Thredbo conference

Abstract: EU Regulation 1370/2007 promotes competitive tendering as a main awarding mechanism on urban bus service. However, small concessions could be awarded through a negotiated procedure. This paper seeks to evaluate the performance of urban bus operators in small- and mèdium-sized municipalities based on their prevailing contractual regimes. Three types of procurement procedure are analyzed: competitive tendering, negotiated contracts and contracts negotiated with the interurban bus provider. A translog stochastic cost frontier is conducted using a panel data set (312 observations) over a nine-year period from 2007 to 2015 for the municipalities of the Barcelona province. In line with recent empirical evidence, we find no cost differences between the three contractual procedures. However, cost inefficiencies emerge in relation to the size of the municipality: the smaller the municipality, the greater the inefficiencies. As for ownership, there are no performance differences between private and others. Economies of density ends at 300,000 vehicles-kilòmetres or 50,000 inhabitants. Therefore, non-tendering exception in the European regulation for small concessions give the same result for negotiated and tender contract.

Bel, G., Bel-Piñana, P. & Rosell, J.

Risk allocation and hidden liabilities for taxpayers and users. Forthcoming Utilities Policy

Abstract: Drawing on evidence from three case studies, we show how the State´s Financial Liability has worked in assigning risk in large PPP contracts in Spain. Project failure and the concessionaire´s bankruptcy have resulted in the government having tu assume heavy financial obligations, which have been absorbed by taxpayers and users. In contrast, Spain´s leading construction companies, which were also major investors in the concessionaires, have been able to minimize their risk. Myopic PPPs have been entered into based on the transference of liabilities to taxpayers and users, and the, consequent, minimization of risks for the main private investors.

Bel, G. & Rosell, J. In
equality across households on CO2 emissions from urban mobility:the role of socioeconomic characteristics   Energy Economics, 64, pp. 251-261.

Abstract: Concerns about the unequal distribution of greenhouse gas emissions attributable to mobility are gaining increasing attention in scholarly analyses as well as in the public policy arena. Factors influencing on different household emitters are largely unknown; and the influence is assumed to be the same for all emitters, be them low or high emitters. We use a household travel survey in the metropolitan area of Barcelona to differentiate the factors that result in different rates of emission. To do so, we adopt a quantile regression approach, which allows us to find significant differences between groups. Gender, income and home-municipality type are influential in accounting for CO2 emissions for all groups. Educational level appears to be less significant, and occupation shows no significance at all. Overall, socioeconomic factors have different influences on different emitting groups; these characteristics do not impact equally across all the population. The application of quantile regression using mobility survey data from different cities would allow improving the design of urban mobility policies.

 Bel., G. & Rosell, J. (2016) 
Public and private production in a mixed delivery system: regulation, competition and costs     Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 35(3), 533-558.

: Academics and policy makers are increasingly shifting the debate concerning the best form of public service provision beyond the traditional dilemma between pure public and pure private delivery modes, because, among other reasons, there is a growing body of evidence that casts doubt on the existence of systematic cost savings from privatization, while any competition seems to be eroded over time. In this paper we compare the relative merits of public and private delivery within a mixed delivery system. We study the role played by ownership, transaction costs, and competition on local public service delivery within the same jurisdiction. Using a stochastic cost frontier, we analyze the public-private urban bus system in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area. Our results suggest that private firms tendering the service have higher delivery costs than those incurred by the public firm, especially when transaction costs are taken into account. Tenders, therefore, do not help to reduce delivery costs. Our results suggest that under a mixed delivery scheme, which permits the co-existence of public and private production, the metropolitan government and the regulator can use private delivery to contain costs in the public firm and, at the same time, benefit from the greater flexibility of private firms for dealing with events not provided for under contract.

Bel., G. Bolancé, C., Guillén, M. & Rosell, J. (2015)
The environmental effects of changing speed limits: A quantile regression approach.  Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 36, 75-85.

Abstract: Two speed policies were introduced in the metropolitan area of Barcelona to reduce pollution concentration air levels. In 2008, the maximum speed limit was reduced to 80 km/h. In 2009 the regional government introduced the variable speed system on some motorways. This paper evaluates whether variable speed regulation has been successful in promoting cleaner air not only in the average level, but also on high and low pollution scenarios. We use the quantile regression approach for a fixed effect panel data. We obtain that the variable speed system improves air quality for the two pollutants considered here. It is most effective when nitrogen oxide is not too low.and it is also most effective when particle matter concentration is below extremely high levels. However, reducing the maximum speed limit from 120 or 100 km/h to 80 km/h has no effect or slightly increasing effect of both pollutants depending on the scenario.

Bel, G. & Rosell, J. (2013) Effects of the 80 km/h and variable speed limits on air pollution in the metropolitan area of Barcelona.   Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 23, 90-97.

Abstract: In 2008 the regional government of Catalonia (Spain) reduced the maximum speed limit on several stretches of congested urban motorway in the Barcelona metropolitan area to 80 km/h, while in 2009 it introduced a variable speed system on other stretches of its metropolitan motorways. We use the differences-in-differences method, which enables a policy impact to be measured under specific conditions, to assess the impact of these polices on emissions of NOx anb PM10. Empirical estimation indicate that reducing the speed limit to 80 km/h causes a 1.7-3.2% increase in NOx and 5.3-5.9% in PM10. By contrast, the variable speed policy reduced NOx and PM10 pollution by 7.7 to 17.1% and 14.5 to 17.3%. As such, a variable speed policy appears to be a more effective environmental policy than reducing the speed limit to a maximum of 80 km/h.