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Competing in the Higher Education Market: Empirical Evidence for Economies of Scale and Scope in German Higher Education Institutions

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Author Info

  • Maria Olivares

    ()
    (University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration)

  • Heike Wetzel

    ()
    (University of Cologne, Institute of Energy Economics)

Abstract

Since the late 1990s, the European higher education system has had to face deep structural changes. With the public authorities seeking to create an environment of quasi-markets in the higher education sector, the increased competition induced by recent reforms has pushed all publicly financed higher education institutions to use their resources more efficiently. Higher education institutions increasingly now aim at differentiating themselves from their competitors in terms of the range of outputs they produce. Assuming that different market positioning strategies will have different effects on the performance of higher education institutions, this paper explores the existence of economies of scale and scope in the German higher education sector. Using an input-oriented distance function approach, we estimate the economies of scale and scope and the technical efficiency for 154 German higher education institutions from 2001 through 2007. Our results suggest that comprehensive universities should indeed orientate their activities to the concept of a full-university that combines teaching and research activities across a broad range of subjects. In contrast, praxis-oriented small and medium-sized universities of applied sciences should specialise in the teaching and research activities they conduct.

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File URL: http://repec.business.uzh.ch/RePEc/iso/leadinghouse/0070_lhwpaper.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU) in its series Economics of Education Working Paper Series with number 0070.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iso:educat:0070

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Keywords: Higher Education Production; Economies of Scale and Scope; Technical Efficiency; Stochastic Frontier Analysis; Input Distance Function;

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References

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  1. Izadi, Hooshang & Johnes, Geraint & Oskrochi, Reza & Crouchley, Robert, 2002. "Stochastic frontier estimation of a CES cost function: the case of higher education in Britain," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 63-71, February.
  2. Alexandra Schmidt & Ajax Moreira & Steven Helfand & Thais Fonseca, 2009. "Spatial stochastic frontier models: accounting for unobserved local determinants of inefficiency," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 101-112, April.
  3. Schubert, Torben, 2009. "Empirical observations on New Public Management to increase efficiency in public research--Boon or bane?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1225-1234, October.
  4. Abbott, M. & Doucouliagos, C., 2003. "The efficiency of Australian universities: a data envelopment analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 89-97, February.
  5. Tommaso Agasisti & Geraint Johnes, 2010. "Heterogeneity and the evaluation of efficiency: the case of Italian universities," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(11), pages 1365-1375.
  6. van den Broeck, Julien & Koop, Gary & Osiewalski, Jacek & Steel, Mark F. J., 1994. "Stochastic frontier models : A Bayesian perspective," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 273-303, April.
  7. Philippe K Widmer & Peter Zweifel & Mehdi Farsi, 2010. "Accounting For Heterogeneity In The Measurement of Hospital Performance," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 10-21, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  8. Hajargasht, Gholamreza & Coelli, Tim & Rao, D.S. Prasada, 2008. "A dual measure of economies of scope," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 185-188, August.
  9. Johnes, Geraint, 1997. "Costs and Industrial Structure in Contemporary British Higher Education," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 727-37, May.
  10. Greene, William, 2005. "Reconsidering heterogeneity in panel data estimators of the stochastic frontier model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 269-303, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Maria Olivares & Andrea Schenker-Wicki, 2012. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Swiss and German University Sector: A Non-Parametric Analysis that Accounts for Heterogeneous Production," Working Papers 309, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).

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