Measuring productivity of research in economics: A cross-country study using DEA
We measure productivity in leading edge economic research by using data envelopment analysis (DEA) for a sample of 21 countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Publications in ten top journals of economics from 1980 to 1998 are taken as the research output. Inputs are measured by R&D expenditure, the number of universities with economics departments and (as an uncontrollable variable) population. Under constant returns-to-scale, the US emerges as the only efficient country. Under variable returns-to-scale, the efficiency frontier is defined by the US, Ireland and New Zealand. With the exception of the US, all countries in our sample display increasing returns-to-scale, and thus have the potential to raise their efficiency by scaling up their research activities.
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