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On Research Efficiency: A Micro-Analysis of Dutch University Research in Economics and Business Management

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  • Laurens Cherchye

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  • Piet Vanden Abeele

Abstract

We argue that efficiency assessments of academic research should focus on micro-units of research production rather than on conventionally employed (aggregated) macro-units, and show that such a detailed analysis of research performance provides interesting insights. In addition, we propose a non-parametric methodology that is specially tailored for analyzing the productive efficiency of research: it starts from a specification of the managerial objectives of research activities while imposing minimal structure on the (typically unknown) production technology. We illustrate our points by assessing the productive efficiency of research in Economics and Business Management faculties at Dutch universities. Next to measuring productive efficiency, we look for specific patterns in efficiency distributions over universities, years and areas of specialization. In addition, we investigate the impact of external funding and of the size of research programs on academic research efficiency.

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File URL: http://www.econ.kuleuven.ac.be/ew/academic/econover/Papers/DPS0206.pdf
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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics in its series Public Economics Working Paper Series with number ces0206.

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Length: 24 pp.
Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpe:papers:ces0206

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Keywords: productive efficiency of research; micro-units of production; non-parametric analysis; research in economics; determinants of research efficiency;

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  1. Rajiv D. Banker, 1993. "Maximum Likelihood, Consistency and Data Envelopment Analysis: A Statistical Foundation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(10), pages 1265-1273, October.
  2. Afriat, Sidney N, 1972. "Efficiency Estimation of Production Function," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 13(3), pages 568-98, October.
  3. Korhonen, Pekka & Tainio, Risto & Wallenius, Jyrki, 2001. "Value efficiency analysis of academic research," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 121-132, April.
  4. Léopold Simar & Paul Wilson, 2000. "Statistical Inference in Nonparametric Frontier Models: The State of the Art," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 49-78, January.
  5. Graves, Philip E & Marchand, James R & Thompson, Randal, 1982. "Economics Departmental Rankings: Research Incentives, Constraints, and Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1131-41, December.
  6. Martin G. Kocher & Mikulas Luptacik & Matthias Sutter, 2001. "Measuring Productivity of Research in Economics. A Cross-Country Study Using DEA," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp077, Vienna University of Economics, Department of Economics.
  7. Kalaitzidakis, Pantelis & Mamuneas, Theofanis P. & Savvides, Andreas & Stengos, Thanasis, 2004. "Research spillovers among European and North-American economics departments," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 191-202, April.
  8. John R. Hauser, 1998. "Research, Development, and Engineering Metrics," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(12-Part-1), pages 1670-1689, December.
  9. Cazals, Catherine & Florens, Jean-Pierre & Simar, Leopold, 2002. "Nonparametric frontier estimation: a robust approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 1-25, January.
  10. Varian, Hal R., 1990. "Goodness-of-fit in optimizing models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 125-140.
  11. Cordero, Rene, 1990. "The measurement of innovation performance in the firm: An overview," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 185-192, April.
  12. Peter Bogetoft, 1996. "DEA on Relaxed Convexity Assumptions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(3), pages 457-465, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Cherchye, Laurens & De Rock, Bram & Vermeulen, Frederic, 2006. "Analyzing Cost Efficient Production Behavior Under Economies of Scope: A Nonparametric Methodology," IZA Discussion Papers 2319, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Katja Rost, 2008. "Do Rankings Reflect Research Quality?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2443, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Haelermans, Carla & Ruggiero, John, 2013. "Estimating technical and allocative efficiency in the public sector: A nonparametric analysis of Dutch schools," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 227(1), pages 174-181.
  4. Bruffaerts, C. & De Rock, B. & Dehon, C., 2013. "The robustness of the hyperbolic efficiency estimator," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 349-363.
  5. Haelermans, Carla & De Witte, Kristof & Blank, Jos L.T., 2012. "On the allocation of resources for secondary schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 575-586.
  6. Groot, Tom & Garcia-Valderrama, Teresa, 2006. "Research quality and efficiency: An analysis of assessments and management issues in Dutch economics and business research programs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 1362-1376, November.
  7. Jiménez, Fernando & Zabala Iturriagagoitia, Jon Mikel & Zofío, José Luis, 2007. "Efficiency in Public Research Centers: Evaluating the Spanish Food Technology Program," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2007/04, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
  8. Raul Ramos & Vicente Royuela & Jordi Suriñach, 2006. "An analysis of the determinants in economics and business publications by spanish universities between 1994 and 2004," IREA Working Papers 200602, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Dec 2006.
  9. Zoghbi, Ana Carolina & Rocha, Fabiana & Mattos, Enlinson, 2013. "Education production efficiency: Evidence from Brazilian universities," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 94-103.
  10. 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.
  11. Bolli, Thomas & Somogyi, Frank, 2011. "Do competitively acquired funds induce universities to increase productivity?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 136-147, February.
  12. Rogge, Nicky & De Witte, Kristof, 2009. "To publish or not to publish? On the aggregation and drivers of research performance," Working Papers 2009/42, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
  13. 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.

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