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The Relative Efficiencies of Canadian Universities: A DEA Perspective

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  • Melville L. McMillan
  • Debasish Datta

Abstract

The results of using data envelopment analysis (DEA) to assess the relative efficiency of 45 Canadian universities are reported. Outcomes are obtained from nine different specifications of inputs and outputs. The relative efficiencies are quite consistent across the alternative specifications. A subset of universities - including universities from each of three categories (comprehensive with medical school, comprehensive without medical school, and primarily undergraduate) - are regularly found efficient and a subset quite inefficient but, overall and for most universities, the efficiency scores are relatively high. Simulation of the recent 20-percent cut in provincial grants to the Alberta universities illustrates how potential efficiency improvements (as implied and measured by this methodology) might be realized but it also illustrates certain limitations. Regression analysis is used in an effort to identify further determinants of efficiency. While there are limitations to the methodology and the available (especially output) measures which makes the specific efficiency outcomes tentative, this analysis provides insight to university productivity in Canada and its analysis.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 24 (1998)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 485-511

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:24:y:1998:i:4:p:485-511

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  1. Johnes, Geraint, 1992. "Performance Indicators in Higher Education: A Survey of Recent Work," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 19-34, Summer.
  2. Valdmanis, Vivian, 1992. "Sensitivity analysis for DEA models : An empirical example using public vs. NFP hospitals," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 185-205, July.
  3. Johnes, Jill & Johnes, Geraint, 1995. "Research funding and performance in U.K. University Departments of Economics: A frontier analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 301-314, September.
  4. Seiford, Lawrence M. & Thrall, Robert M., 1990. "Recent developments in DEA : The mathematical programming approach to frontier analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 7-38.
  5. Curry, B & George, K D, 1983. "Industrial Concentration: A Survey," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 203-55, March.
  6. De Borger, Bruno & Kerstens, Kristiaan, 1996. "Cost efficiency of Belgian local governments: A comparative analysis of FDH, DEA, and econometric approaches," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 145-170, April.
  7. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
  8. Cohn, Elchanan & Rhine, Sherrie L W & Santos, Maria C, 1989. "Institutions of Higher Education as Multi-product Firms: Economies of Scale and Scope," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 284-90, May.
  9. Nikias Sarafoglou & Kingsley E. Haynes, 1996. "University productivity in Sweden: a demonstration and explanatory analysis for economics and business programs," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 285-304.
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Cited by:
  1. António Afonso & Mariana Santos, 2005. "Students and Teachers: A DEA Approach to the Relative Efficiency of Portuguese Public Universities," Working Papers Department of Economics 2005/07, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  2. Zuzana Kučerová, 2012. "Measuring of Efficiency in the Public and Private Sector – Current Research Approaches," Český finanční a účetní časopis, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2012(2), pages 110-125.
  3. Yolanda Fernández Santos & Almudena Martínez Campillo & José Miguel Fernández Fernández, 2013. "Evaluación de la eficiencia y el cambio de productividad en el sistema universitario público español tras la implantación de la LOU," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 205(2), pages 71-98, June.
  4. Lehmann, Erik E. & Warning, Susanne, 2010. "The impact of regional endowment and university characteristics on university efficiency," UO Working Papers 04-10, University of Augsburg, Chair of Management and Organization.
  5. Gertjan Driessen & Mark Lijesen & Machiel Mulder, 2006. "The impact of competition on productive efficiency in European railways," CPB Discussion Paper 71, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  6. Joanicjusz Nazarko & Marta Komuda & Elzbieta Szubzda, 2008. "The DEA method in public sector institutions efficiency analysis on the basis of higher education institutions," Operations Research and Decisions, Wroclaw University of Technology, Institute of Organization and Management, vol. 4, pages 89-105.
  7. Lehmann, Erik & Warning, Susanne, 2002. "Teaching or research? What affects the efficiency of universities," Discussion Papers, Series 1 322, University of Konstanz, Department of Economics.
  8. António Afonso, & Mohamed Ayadi, & Sourour Ramzi,, 2013. "Assessment of efficiency in basic and secondary education in Tunisia, a regional analysis," Working Papers Department of Economics 2013/06, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  9. Martín Rivero, Raquel, 2007. "La eficiencia productiva en el ámbito universitario: aspectos claves para su evaluación/The Productive Efficiency in the University: Key Aspects for its Evaluation," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 25, pages 793-812, Diciembre.
  10. Othman Joumady & Catherine Ris, 2005. "Performance in European higher education: A non-parametric production frontier approach," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 189-205.
  11. Horne, Jocelyn & Hu, Baiding, 2008. "Estimation of cost efficiency of Australian universities," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 266-275.
  12. Angel García Correas & Manuel Larran Jorge, 2010. "Análisis de diferentes medidas de la eficiencia investigadora y factores explicativos en las universidades públicas españolas," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 5, in: María Jesús Mancebón-Torrubia & Domingo P. Ximénez-de-Embún & José María Gómez-Sancho & Greg (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 5, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 36, pages 703-732 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.

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