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Evaluating the efficiency of Italian public universities (2008–2011) in presence of (unobserved) heterogeneity

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  • Agasisti, Tommaso
  • Barra, Cristian
  • Zotti, Roberto

Abstract

In assessing the performance of universities, the most recent literature underlined that the efficiency scores may suffer from the presence of incidental parameters or time-invariant, often unobservable, effects that lead to biased efficiency estimates. To deal with this problem, we apply a procedure developed by [67]; for estimating the efficiency in Italian higher education through a multi-output parametric distance function. We show that models which do not consider unobservable heterogeneity tend to estimate divergent efficiency scores. We also study the determinants of efficiency; the findings provide a clue towards the expansion of pro-competitive policies in the Italian higher education sector, consistently with the interpretation that when market forces operate, there are benefits for university efficiency. When exploring differences in the performance of universities, by geographical areas, we claim that maintaining State-level policies can be detrimental for overall efficiency, and instead special interventions for universities in the South should be designed.

Suggested Citation

  • Agasisti, Tommaso & Barra, Cristian & Zotti, Roberto, 2016. "Evaluating the efficiency of Italian public universities (2008–2011) in presence of (unobserved) heterogeneity," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 47-58.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceps:v:55:y:2016:i:c:p:47-58
    DOI: 10.1016/j.seps.2016.06.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Tommaso Agasisti & Cristian Barra & Roberto Zotti, 2017. "Research, knowledge transfer and innovation: the effect of Italian universities’ efficiency on the local economic development 2006-2012," Working papers 60, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    2. repec:eee:soceps:v:62:y:2018:i:c:p:104-120 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Cristian Barra & Ornella Wanda Maietta & Roberto Zotti, 2017. "First, Second and Third Tier Universities: Academic Excellence, Local Knowledge Spillovers and Innovation in Europe," CSEF Working Papers 468, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:8:p:1416-:d:107966 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:soceps:v:62:y:2018:i:c:p:44-55 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Efficiency; Unobserved heterogeneity; Higher education;

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C67 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Input-Output Models

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