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Subject mix and productivity in Portuguese universities

  • Sarrico, Cláudia S.
  • Teixeira, Pedro N.
  • Rosa, Maria J.
  • Cardoso, Margarida F.

Recent changes in higher education, especially associated with its massification, have led to calls for more accountability and to an increasing need to evaluate universities' performance. However, comparing universities with different subject mixes poses some significant problems. In this article, a linear mixed-effect model methodology allowing for random effects at university level is used to measure the productivity of Portuguese public universities, taking into account their subject composition, for a period of five years (1997-2001). The results show that subject mix is an important factor in explaining the variability in productivity between universities. However, even taking account of subject mix, a lot of inefficiency is found in the system, and a significant variability in productivity among universities exists.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Operational Research.

Volume (Year): 197 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (August)
Pages: 287-295

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:197:y:2009:i:1:p:287-295
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  1. Malcolm Abbot & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2003. "Research Output of Australian Universities," Economics Series 2003_04, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  2. Cohn, Elchanan & Rhine, Sherrie L W & Santos, Maria C, 1989. "Institutions of Higher Education as Multi-product Firms: Economies of Scale and Scope," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 284-90, May.
  3. Sarrico, C. S. & Dyson, R. G., 2004. "Restricting virtual weights in data envelopment analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 159(1), pages 17-34, November.
  4. Pedro Teixeira & Margarida F. Cardoso & Cláudia S. Sarrico & Maria João Rosa, 2007. "The Portuguese Public University System: On the Road to Improvement?," Chapters, in: Universities and Strategic Knowledge Creation, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  5. David Draper & Mark Gittoes, 2004. "Statistical analysis of performance indicators in UK higher education," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 167(3), pages 449-474.
  6. 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.
  7. Trow, Martin, 1996. "Trust, Markets and Accountability in Higher Education: A Comparative Perspective," University of California at Berkeley, Center for Studies in Higher Education qt6q21h265, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley.
  8. Johnes, Jill, 1996. "Performance assessment in higher education in Britain," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 18-33, February.
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