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The efficiency frontier as a method for gauging the performance of education at the national level

In: Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 5

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  • Bruno Eugène

    ()
    (National Bank of Belgium)

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    Abstract

    This paper uses the Free Disposal Hull framework in order to assess the degree of efficiency of 17 countries (14 ‘old’ EU15 Member States, the United States, Japan and Poland) in the field of education. Within this framework, a country with a high production value and limited costs is more efficient than a country with a lower production value and higher costs. This non-parametric method enables the construction of an efficiency frontier based on several indicators, which can constitute an objective to be attained. In order to do it, this paper aggregates a large number of outcome indicators, in addition to the traditional PISA indicators, and takes all costs into account. Several drawbacks indicate that the findings must be interpreted cautiously. These drawbacks aside, the analysis reveals that four countries are located on the efficiency frontier, namely Poland, Ireland, the Netherlands and Finland, while the US and Italy are rather weak in this comparison. As a whole, the Belgian education system is more expensive, but also tends to produce better results than the European average; Spain is precisely the opposite, with low costs and rather weak results. This working paper consists of a theoretical part and an applied part. The first section will concentrate on presenting the FDH framework, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of this approach. It will also set out how to proceed with the choice of inputs and outcomes, as well as their aggregation. The second section will look into the countries' efficiency in the field of education.

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    This chapter was published in:

  • María Jesús Mancebón-Torrubia & Domingo P. Ximénez-de-Embún & José María Gómez-Sancho & Greg (ed.), 2010. "Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación," E-books Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación, Asociación de Economía de la Educación, edition 1, volume 5, number 05, 8.
    This item is provided by Asociación de Economía de la Educación in its series Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 5 with number 05-39.

    Handle: RePEc:aec:ieed05:05-39

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    Web page: http://www.economicsofeducation.com
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    Keywords: Public spending efficiency; Education; FDH;

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