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Handling negative data using Data Envelopment Analysis: a directional distance approach applied to higher education

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  • Barra, Cristian
  • Zotti, Roberto

Abstract

This paper applies a data envelopment analysis (DEA) method to assess technical efficiency of both private and public universities in Italy. Moving from the traditional context where inputs and outputs are assumed to be non-negative, a directional distance function approach has been applied in order to handle both desirable (i.e. number of graduates) and undesirable (i.e. number of dropouts) outputs. The findings based on a panel from academic year 2003/2004 to 2007/2008 reveal the presence of interesting geographical (both by macro areas and regions) and ownership (private, public) effects. Several quality and quantity proxies have also been used in order to check whether the estimates depend on the output specification. Finally, the possible evidence of variation in the universities’ performances by subject of study has been taken into account in order to check whether the results are still consistent comparing universities within subject rather than across subjects.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 55570.

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Date of creation: Apr 2014
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:55570

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Keywords: Data envelopment analysis; Negative data in DEA; Directional distance function; Higher education;

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  1. Andrew Worthington & Boon L. Lee, 2005. "Efficiency, technology and productivity change in Australian universities, 1998-2003," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 195, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
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  3. Smith, Jeremy & Naylor, Robin, 2001. " Determinants of Degree Performance in UK Universities: A Statistical Analysis of the 1993 Student Cohort," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(1), pages 29-60, February.
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  7. Rolf Färe & Shawna Grosskopf, 2000. "Theory and Application of Directional Distance Functions," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 93-103, March.
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  15. Johnes, Jill, 2006. "Data envelopment analysis and its application to the measurement of efficiency in higher education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 273-288, June.
  16. 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.
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  18. Wiji Arulampalam & Robin A. Naylor & Jeremy P. Smith, 2004. "A hazard model of the probability of medical school drop-out in the UK," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 167(1), pages 157-178.
  19. Gary Madden & Scott Savage & Steven Kemp, 1997. "Measuring Public Sector Efficiency: A Study of Economics Departments at Australian Universities," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 153-168.
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