The Japanese government initiated a series of regulatory reforms in the mid-1990s. The Japanese urban gas industry consists of various sized private and non-private firms. Numerous previous studies find that deregulation leads to productivity improvements. We extend the literature by analyzing deregulation, privatization, and other aspects of a regulated industry using unique firm level data. This study measures productivity to evaluate the effect of the deregulation reform. Using data from 205 firms from 1993 to 2004, we find that the deregulation effect differs depending on firm size. Competitive pressure contributes to advanced productivity. The deregulation of gas sales to commercial customers is the most important factor for advancing productivity.
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