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The Relative Efficiencies of Canadian Universities: A DEA Perspective

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  • Melville L. McMillan
  • Debasish Datta

Abstract

The results of using data envelopment analysis (DEA) to assess the relative efficiency of 45 Canadian universities are reported. Outcomes are obtained from nine different specifications of inputs and outputs. The relative efficiencies are quite consistent across the alternative specifications. A subset of universities - including universities from each of three categories (comprehensive with medical school, comprehensive without medical school, and primarily undergraduate) - are regularly found efficient and a subset quite inefficient but, overall and for most universities, the efficiency scores are relatively high. Simulation of the recent 20-percent cut in provincial grants to the Alberta universities illustrates how potential efficiency improvements (as implied and measured by this methodology) might be realized but it also illustrates certain limitations. Regression analysis is used in an effort to identify further determinants of efficiency. While there are limitations to the methodology and the available (especially output) measures which makes the specific efficiency outcomes tentative, this analysis provides insight to university productivity in Canada and its analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Melville L. McMillan & Debasish Datta, 1998. "The Relative Efficiencies of Canadian Universities: A DEA Perspective," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 24(4), pages 485-511, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:24:y:1998:i:4:p:485-511
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    2. Kristof de Witte & Laura López-Torres, 2015. "Efficiency in Education. A Review of Literature and a Way Forward," Working Papers 1501, Departament Empresa, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, revised Apr 2015.
    3. Joanicjusz Nazarko & Marta Komuda & Elzbieta Szubzda, 2008. "The DEA method in public sector institutions efficiency analysis on the basis of higher education institutions," Operations Research and Decisions, Wroclaw University of Technology, Institute of Organization and Management, vol. 4, pages 89-105.
    4. Mehdi Rhaiem, 2017. "Measurement and determinants of academic research efficiency: a systematic review of the evidence," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 110(2), pages 581-615, February.
    5. 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.
    6. Ramzi, Sourour & Afonso, António & Ayadi, Mohamed, 2016. "Assessment of efficiency in basic and secondary education in Tunisia: A regional analysis," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 62-76.
    7. Yolanda Fernández-Santos & Almudena Martínez-Campillo & José Miguel Fernández-Fernández, 2016. "¿Son eficientes en docencia, investigación y transferencia de conocimiento las universidades públicas españolas? Medida y determinantes," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 11,in: José Manuel Cordero Ferrera & Rosa Simancas Rodríguez (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 11, edition 1, volume 11, chapter 35, pages 637-652 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    8. Ray, Subhash C. & Jeon, Yongil, 2008. "Reputation and efficiency: A non-parametric assessment of America's top-rated MBA programs," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 189(1), pages 245-268, August.
    9. Angel García Correas & Manuel Larran Jorge, 2010. "Análisis de diferentes medidas de la eficiencia investigadora y factores explicativos en las universidades públicas españolas," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 5,in: María Jesús Mancebón-Torrubia & Domingo P. Ximénez-de-Embún & José María Gómez-Sancho & Gregorio Gim (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 5, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 36, pages 703-732 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    10. Lehmann, Erik & Warning, Susanne, 2002. "Teaching or research? What affects the efficiency of universities," Discussion Papers, Series I 322, University of Konstanz, Department of Economics.
    11. Viera Roháčová, 2015. "A DEA based approach for optimization of urban public transport system," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer;Slovak Society for Operations Research;Hungarian Operational Research Society;Czech Society for Operations Research;Österr. Gesellschaft für Operations Research (ÖGOR);Slovenian Society Informatika - Section for Operational Research;Croatian Operational Research Society, vol. 23(1), pages 215-233, March.
    12. Horne, Jocelyn & Hu, Baiding, 2008. "Estimation of cost efficiency of Australian universities," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 266-275.
    13. repec:eee:spacre:v:18:y:2015:i:2:p:162-173 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Domingo Docampo & Lawrence Cram, 2017. "Academic performance and institutional resources: a cross-country analysis of research universities," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 110(2), pages 739-764, February.
    15. António Afonso & Mariana Santos, 2008. "A Dea Approach To The Relative Efficiency Of Portuguese Public Universities," Portuguese Journal of Management Studies, ISEG, Universidade de Lisboa, vol. 0(1), pages 67-88.
    16. 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 - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    17. Yolanda Fernández Santos & Almudena Martínez Campillo & José Miguel Fernández Fernández, 2013. "Evaluación de la eficiencia y el cambio de productividad en el sistema universitario público español tras la implantación de la LOU," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 205(2), pages 71-98, June.
    18. Gertjan Driessen & Mark Lijesen & Machiel Mulder, 2006. "The impact of competition on productive efficiency in European railways," CPB Discussion Paper 71, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    19. Ding, Lan & Zeng, Yao, 2015. "Evaluation of Chinese higher education by TOPSIS and IEW — The case of 68 universities belonging to the Ministry of Education in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 341-358.
    20. Lehmann, Erik E. & Warning, Susanne, 2010. "The impact of regional endowment and university characteristics on university efficiency," UO Working Papers 04-10, University of Augsburg, Chair of Management and Organization.
    21. Martín Rivero, Raquel, 2007. "La eficiencia productiva en el ámbito universitario: aspectos claves para su evaluación/The Productive Efficiency in the University: Key Aspects for its Evaluation," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 25, pages 793-812, Diciembre.
    22. Zuzana Kučerová, 2012. "Measuring of Efficiency in the Public and Private Sector - Current Research Approaches," Český finanční a účetní časopis, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2012(2), pages 110-125.
    23. Y. c{C}inar, 2016. "Research and Teaching Efficiencies of Turkish Universities with Heterogeneity Considerations: Application of Multi-Activity DEA and DEA by Sequential Exclusion of Alternatives Methods," Papers 1701.07318, arXiv.org.
    24. Yolanda Fernández-Santos & Almudena Martínez-Campillo & José Miguel Fernández-Fernández, 2015. "Determinantes de la eficiencia en las universidades públicas españolas: un análisis DEA en dos etapas," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 10,in: Marta Rahona López & Jennifer Graves (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 10, edition 1, volume 10, chapter 25, pages 491-508 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.

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