Badell, D. & Rosell, J. (2021) Are EU Institutions Still Green Actors? An Empirical Study of Green Public Procurement. Journal of Common Market Studies

Abstract: Analysing the environmental actorness of the EU, more than one voice has spoken of the myth of a Green Europe and a dismantling process of its environmental ambitions. To date, any attempt to quantify this in a homogeneous fashion by different levels of government and institutions has run into serious difficulties. This research, however, uses green public procurement (GPP) as the research instrument to quantify the commitment to environmental policies. We construct the database from tenders published in the Supplement to the Official Journal between 2009 and 2019. Based on more than 743,061 observations, the article finds that the EU’s institutions have the lowest GPP adoption rates in relation to all other levels of government. Moreover, it also records marked differences between the EU institutions where the European Parliament is performing better than the European Commission and, during Juncker Commission, EC performs worse.

Abstract: Green public procurement (GPP) has been extensively adopted as a public administration tool for achieving sustainability outcomes. However, there is a marked lack of understanding regarding the determinants of GPP adoption beyond, that is, the characteristics of the contracting authority. Indeed, most studies have focused their attention on these micro determinants, with little being known about the macro and meso factors involved. In this paper, we contribute to the literature by analyzing macro and meso adoption factors. To do so, we explore GPP in the award criteria for twenty-five European countries as recorded in Tenders Electronic Daily database for the period 2006–2017. Our results show significant cross-country differences in GPP uptake and we identify factors beyond those of the contracting unit itself that condition GPP adoption. Specifically, more developed countries and a larger government size impact positively on GPP. GPP adoption has evolved favorably over time, and regional and local administrations show a clearer preference for GPP than is shown by national governments or EU authorities. We find that better governance is linked to GPP adoption and that larger contracts are more likely to include GPP. Our results confirm that join procurement between contracting authorities more probability to adopt GPP. Our results are useful for defining a more comprehensive decision-making framework for GPP.

Rosell, J & Allen, J. (2020) Test-riding the driverless bus: Determinants of satisfaction and reuse intention in eight test-track locations. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 140, 166-189.

Abstract: The introduction of shared autonomous vehicles (SAVs) presents a wide range of challenges and uncertainties regarding their general acceptability. Hence, it is essential that transit managers have a good understanding of passenger satisfaction and of their behavioural intentions after experiencing a driverless vehicle trip. To this end, 1,062 face-to-face surveys were conducted following driverless bus trials in eight Catalan (Spain) municipalities. Using a three-step SEM-MIMIC ordinal Probit approach, we seek to identify the heterogeneity in user perceptions and reuse intentions, a novelty in SAV literature. Specifically, we analyse the users’ behavioural intention to repeat a journey without transit support personnel on the bus and when entirely alone, and how willing they are to substitute their regular bus service with a driverless one. Our results confirm that critical incidents affect user satisfaction concerning safety, the latter constituting one of the most critical factors impacting user reuse intention and overall satisfaction. The test-track scenario also affects reuse intention, with university campuses and parks recording better outcomes than city centres and pedestrianized zones. In contrast to outcomes reported for conventional bus systems, higher socioeconomic status is associated with higher levels of satisfaction with driverless vehicles and a stronger reuse intention. Female users are reluctant to ride on driverless buses alone; however, when they are not regular bus users, they express a reluctance to board SAV both without transit support personnel and alone. In high-income municipalities, we find a positive impact on reuse intention. Finally, a higher degree of satisfaction with the regular bus system is positively linked with a better perceived driverless bus experience. For implementation purposes, location, critical incidents, safety, regular bus user satisfaction, technology affinity, and the income level of the municipalities are all aspects that need to be factored-in when designing an adoption strategy.

Rosell, J. & Saz-Carranza, A. (2020). Determinants of Public-Private Partnerships Policies. Public Management Review

Abstract: This article identifies and analyses the determinants of a country’s PPP policies. Using the World Bank’s 135-country Procuring Infrastructure PPPs 2018database, we analyse the role of legal traditions, European Union membership, transparency and macroeconomic indicators on the adoption, procurement and management of PPPs in infrastructures. We find that transparency acts to smooth the way for PPP policies in these three phases. Scandinavian countries are reluctant to enter into PPPs, while European Union legislation has a positive impact only on the procurement process. Macroeconomic indicator effects are weak on PPP score; larger government’s revenues reduces country’s PPP appetite.

Allen, J., Muñoz, J.C. & Rosell, J (2019). Effect of a Major Network Reform on Bus Transit Satisfaction. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice

Abstract: Before enduring a substantial network reform in a system, it is of utmost importance to understand if, how, and why the users’ perception of the system will be affected. In the PT literature, we find evidence about what drives users’ satisfaction. Still, past studies have utilised data that has been mostly retrieved from user surveys during periods where the network and its services were quite stable, or during an economic downturn, in contrast to facing a structural network transformation. Barcelona public bus company (TMB) reformed into a transfer based-network, the NXB (Nova Xarxa de Bus) since 2012. This reform allows discerning which operative, travel, and sociodemographic characteristics affect the users’ satisfaction and their priorities, during a major network reform. We use a three-year customer satisfaction survey (n = 12,511), for our study. Employing a structural equation (SEM) approach, with both numeric and ordinal Probit models, we assess whether critical variables from the bus network reform affect users’ satisfaction significantly. Following a two step-approach, initially an SEM-MIMIC model for the whole population, then a Multi-Group Analysis (MGA), we appraise for different satisfaction models across subpopulations. We propose a reflective latent variable to measure the socioeconomic status (SES), which resulted in significant and negative estimates towards satisfaction, as expected, in all models. Our most important result confirms that users value reliability over other latent satisfaction constructs. Besides the satisfaction constructs, users give an additional relevance to the NXB lines, indicating that intrinsically the users perceive added-value from these lines. Most of the transfers between buses and other transport modes do not affect bus-users satisfaction. Our results imply that efficiently designed transfer-based networks may be a suitable solution from users’ perspective.

Albalate, D. and Rosell, J. (2019). On the efficiency of toll motorway companies in Spain. Research in Transportation Economics

This paper uses stochastic frontier analyses to estimate the cost efficiency of toll motorway companies in Spain, disentangling between two types of efficiency: persistent efficiency, related to project building and sunk costs, and transient efficiency, more closely related to management efficiency. The differences between the two sources of efficiency are significant, allowing us to test how different regulations impact performance. We find that regional governments grant more efficient projects than those granted by central government, but we do not find significant differences in performance in relation to the public/private ownership share, following the privatization of publicly owned concessionaires or due to changes in price updating regulations (price cap). The motorways nationalized in the 1980s had lower persistent efficiency levels, while management seems to have had a limited role in promoting efficiency gains. Furthermore, our results support the existence of scale and density economies in Spain, showing that an increase in vehicle-kilometers is more important than extending the motorway.

Michael Beasley 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

Bel, G., Bel-Piñana, P. & Rosell, J. (2017). Risk allocation and hidden liabilities for taxpayers and users. 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.

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.

Abstract: 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.