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The Global Production Frontier of Universities

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Abstract

This paper provides first micro-level evidence of the global university production frontier, allowing to estimate technical efficiencies of 273 top research universities across 29 countries between 2007 and 2009. Exploiting comparable international data improves the estimation of the production technology, allows to assess the distance of individual countries to the global frontier and enables comparison of university efficiencies between and across countries. The estimated input distance function uses undergraduate students, graduate students and citations to capture university outputs and staff to measure inputs. Contrasting two alternative econometric strategies to identify technical efficiency yields relatively stable results. Furthermore, the paper addresses the problem of unobserved heterogeneity by relating the obtained efficiency rankings to quality rankings and by exploiting the panel structure of the data to account for unobserved heterogeneity explicitly. The results suggest that technical efficiency rankings can be obtained in a relatively simple econometric setting.

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  • Thomas Bolli, 2011. "The Global Production Frontier of Universities," KOF Working papers 11-272, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:11-272
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-006341664
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Which are the most efficient universities?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-03-29 19:43:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Zara Daghbashyan & Enrico Deiaco & Maureen McKelvey, 2014. "How and why does cost efficiency of universities differ across European countries? An explorative attempt using new microdata," Chapters,in: Knowledge, Diversity and Performance in European Higher Education, chapter 9, pages iii-iii Edward Elgar Publishing.

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    Keywords

    University; Global Frontier; Efficiency; Stochastic Frontier; Unobserved Heterogeneity; True Random Effects Stochastic Frontier;

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