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Performances and spending efficiency in higher education: a European comparison through non-parametric approaches

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  • Tommaso Agasisti

Abstract

The objective of this paper is an efficiency analysis concerning higher education systems in European countries. Data have been extracted from OECD data-sets (Education at a Glance, several years), using a non-parametric technique - data envelopment analysis - to calculate efficiency scores. This paper represents the first attempt to conduct such an efficiency analysis at a system-level in a cross-country comparison, while focusing only on tertiary education. The role of the public sector has also been analysed, by looking at the percentage of public spending devoted to higher education, and the way the public funds are used (channelled through private subsidies or directly assigned to institutions). It has been found that there is a small core of efficient units (e.g. Switzerland, United Kingdom), and that the influence of the public sector seems to play a role in determining efficiency scores. Many elements, related to critical policies, have also been analysed adopting a semi-parametric approach, to better explain the performances and efficiency differentials. Some key-policy implications have been derived.

Suggested Citation

  • Tommaso Agasisti, 2011. "Performances and spending efficiency in higher education: a European comparison through non-parametric approaches," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 199-224.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:19:y:2011:i:2:p:199-224
    DOI: 10.1080/09645290903094174
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Barra, Cristian & Lagravinese, Raffaele & Zotti, Roberto, 2015. "Explaining (in)efficiency in higher education: a comparison of parametric and non-parametric analyses to rank universities," MPRA Paper 67119, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    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. Agasisti, Tommaso & Gralka, Sabine, 2017. "The transient and persistent efficiency of Italian and German universities: A stochastic frontier analysis," CEPIE Working Papers 14/17, Technische Universität Dresden, Center of Public and International Economics (CEPIE).
    4. Alexey A. Egorov & Oleg V. Leshukov & Alexander D. Gromov, 2017. "The Role of Universities in Economic Development of Russian Regions," HSE Working papers WP BRP 41/EDU/2017, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    5. Tommaso Agasisti & Giuseppe Munda, 2017. "Efficiency of investment in compulsory education: An Overview of Methodological Approaches," JRC Working Papers JRC106681, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    6. Wolszczak, Joanna, 2014. "An evaluation and explanation of (in)efficiency in higher education institutions in Europe and the U.S. with the application of two-stage semi-parametric DEA," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt7c87d4hk, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    7. Mariana Cunha & Vera Rocha, 2012. "On the Efficiency of Public Higher Education Institutions in Portugal: An Exploratory Study," FEP Working Papers 468, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    8. Zotti, Roberto & Barra, Cristian, 2014. "Human capital development, knowledge spillovers and local growth: Is there a quality effect of university efficiency?," MPRA Paper 60065, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Ruxandra CIULU & Olesia MIHAI, 2012. "The Role Of Strategy In Achieving Performance And International Recognition – The Case Of Romanian Advanced Research Universities," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 9, pages 137-157, June.
    10. Cristian Barra & Roberto Zotti, 2016. "Measuring Efficiency in Higher Education: An Empirical Study Using a Bootstrapped Data Envelopment Analysis," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 22(1), pages 11-33, February.
    11. Tommaso Agasisti & Ralph Hippe & Giuseppe Munda, 2017. "Efficiency of investment in compulsory education: empirical analyses in Europe," JRC Working Papers JRC106678, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    12. Barra, Cristian & Zotti, Roberto, 2014. "Handling negative data using Data Envelopment Analysis: a directional distance approach applied to higher education," MPRA Paper 55570, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:9:p:1595-1605 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:68:y:2017:i:9:d:10.1057_s41274-017-0207-6 is not listed on IDEAS

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