Dynamics of productivity in higher education. Cross-European evidence based on bootstrapped Malmquist indices
This study presents patterns of productivity change in a large set of 266 public higher education institutions (HEIs) from 7 European countries across the time period 2001-2005. We adopt consistent bootstrap estimation procedures to obtain confidence intervals for Malmquist indices of HEI productivity and their components. Consequently, we are able to assess statistical significance of the changes in HEIs’ productivity, efficiency and technology. Our results suggest that when we treat the HEIs from all the countries jointly, their productivity, on average, rose by 4% annually, but when we account for the cross-country heterogeneity of education systems, average total factor productivity (TFP) growth is much lower. There are considerable international differences, with German, Italian and Swiss HEIs performing better, in terms of productivity change, than HEIs from the other countries. Of the 266 European universities examined, only 4 registered consistent annual improvements in TFP, which are robust to the way of estimating productivity frontiers.
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