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Efficiency of public spending in education: A challenge among Italian regions

In: Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 6

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  • Piergiacomo Sibiano

    ()
    (Politecnico di Milano)

  • Tommaso Agasisti

    ()
    (Politecnico di Milano)

Abstract

The Italian educational system is strictly regulated by the Ministry of Education. However, there are strong differences in educational inputs and outputs among Regions, as can be noticed by analyzing the allocation of public budgets to the Regions and their students' (average) performance in national and international test scores. A general institutional change is ongoing in Italy, that is, the decentralization of competencies from the State to the Regions (federalism). Some insights are necessary about the efficiency of public spending on education in a comparative perspective across Regions. To estimate efficiency scores, a non-parametric technique called DEA (Data Envelopment Analysis) was used. The units of analysis are the 18 Italian Regions, with the focus on the lower-secondary education. Then a second-stage Tobit regression was used to detect the factors affecting efficiency. The results corroborate the difference between the North and South of Italy (the Regions in the North outperform their counterparts in the South). When looking at the Regional socio-economic context, GDP per capita appears as the key determinant of efficiency.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Antonio Caparrós Ruiz (ed.), 2011. "Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación," E-books Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación, Asociación de Economía de la Educación, edition 1, volume 6, number 06, 7.
    This item is provided by Asociación de Economía de la Educación in its series Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 6 with number 06-31.

    Handle: RePEc:aec:ieed06:06-31

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    Web page: http://www.economicsofeducation.com
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    Keywords: efficiency; standard cost;

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    1. Stefano Fachin & Alberto Brugnoli, 2001. "Testing economic geography: Italy, 1951-1991," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 18(1), pages 1-7.
    2. Marco Maffezzoli, 2004. "Convergence Across Italian Regions and the Role of Technological Catch-Up," Working Papers 274, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    3. Léopold Simar & Paul W. Wilson, 1998. "Sensitivity Analysis of Efficiency Scores: How to Bootstrap in Nonparametric Frontier Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(1), pages 49-61, January.
    4. Francesco Aiello & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2000. "Uneven Regional Development in Italy: Explaining Differences in Productivity Levels," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 59(2), pages 270-298, September.
    5. R. Paci & A. Saba, 1997. "The empirics of regional Economic growth in italy. 1951-1993," Working Paper CRENoS 199701, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    6. F. Pigliaru, 2009. "Persistent regional gaps and the role of social capital: hints from the Italian Mezzogiorno’s case," Working Paper CRENoS 200904, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
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