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Competition and efficiency: overseas students and technical efficiency in Australian and New Zealand universities

Author

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  • Malcolm Abbott
  • Chris Doucouliagos

Abstract

Economic theory suggests that competitive pressures will impact on organisational efficiency. In recent years, universities in Australia and New Zealand have faced increased competition for students. The aim of this paper is to explore the efficiency of Australian and New Zealand public universities and to investigate the impact of competition for students from overseas on efficiency. Output distance functions are estimated using panel data for the period 1995-2002 for Australia and 1997-2003 for New Zealand. The results show that competition for overseas students has led to increased efficiency in Australian universities. However, competition for overseas students appears to have had no effect on efficiency in New Zealand.

Suggested Citation

  • Malcolm Abbott & Chris Doucouliagos, 2009. "Competition and efficiency: overseas students and technical efficiency in Australian and New Zealand universities," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 31-57.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:17:y:2009:i:1:p:31-57
    DOI: 10.1080/09645290701773433
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Catherine J. Morrison Paul & Warren E. Johnston & Gerald A. G. Frengley, 2000. "Efficiency in New Zealand Sheep and Beef Farming: The Impacts of Regulatory Reform," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 325-337, May.
    2. Rafael Cuesta & José Zofío, 2005. "Hyperbolic Efficiency and Parametric Distance Functions: With Application to Spanish Savings Banks," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 31-48, September.
    3. Malcolm Abbott & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2004. "Research output of Australian universities," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 251-265.
    4. Andrew Worthington, 2001. "An Empirical Survey of Frontier Efficiency Measurement Techniques in Education," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 245-268.
    5. Gordon C. Winston, 1999. "Subsidies, Hierarchy and Peers: The Awkward Economics of Higher Education," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 13-36, Winter.
    6. Battese, G E & Coelli, T J, 1995. "A Model for Technical Inefficiency Effects in a Stochastic Frontier Production Function for Panel Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 325-332.
    7. Tim Coelli & Sergio Perelman, 2000. "Technical efficiency of European railways: a distance function approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(15), pages 1967-1976.
    8. Abbott, M. & Doucouliagos, C., 2003. "The efficiency of Australian universities: a data envelopment analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 89-97, February.
    9. Paul, Catherine J. Morrison & Nehring, Richard, 2005. "Product diversification, production systems, and economic performance in U.S. agricultural production," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 525-548, June.
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