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Identifying the Best Buys in U. S. Higher Education


  • E. Anthon Eff
  • Christopher C. Klein
  • Reuben Kyle


Consumers of higher education face a bewildering array of product and price combinations. We compare U. S. institutions with a Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) multi-factor frontier using 2000-2001 data for 1,188 four-year institutions of higher education. The input is net price or tuition, fees, room, and board less per student financial aid. Outputs include SAT score, athletic expenditures, instructional expenditures, value of buildings, dorm capacity, and student body characteristics. The DEA efficiency scores indicate the distance of each institution from the “best buy” frontier, providing an objective means of ranking institutions as the best buys in higher education.

Suggested Citation

  • E. Anthon Eff & Christopher C. Klein & Reuben Kyle, 2010. "Identifying the Best Buys in U. S. Higher Education," Working Papers 201004, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:mts:wpaper:201004

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    Education; Data Envelopment Analysis; Comparative advantage;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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