IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Public Spending Efficiency: Institutional Indicators in Primary and Secondary Education


  • Frédéric Gonand
  • Isabelle Joumard
  • Robert Price


This paper presents composite indicators of the institutional and policy characteristics of educational systems, collated from the questionnaire responses of 26 Member countries. These indicators provide an overview of the institutional framework in the primary and secondary education sector and are constructed so as to be used for the analysis of international differences in spending efficiency. The key features of the institutional setting in the non-tertiary education sector are grouped under three headings: i) the ability to prioritise and allocate resources efficiently (through decentralisation and mechanisms matching resources to specific needs); ii) the efficiency in managing spending at the local level (through outcome-focused policies and managerial autonomy), and iii) the efficiency in service provision (through benchmarking and user choice). For each country, an intermediate indicator is computed for each of these six institutional properties. Composite indicators then combine the six intermediate indicators of spending efficiency into a single, aggregate measure. Results are presented and some of their implications are discussed. Overall, the characteristics of the institutional framework in the non-tertiary public education sector seem to be very favourable, compared to OECD average, in the United Kingdom, Australia, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands, whereas results are less favourable for the Czech Republic, Greece, Luxembourg, Japan, Turkey, Hungary, Belgium (French speaking community), Switzerland and Austria. Efficacité de la dépense publique : indicateurs institutionnels dans le secteur de l'éducation primaire et secondaire Ce document de travail présente sous forme d'indicateurs quantitatifs les réponses de 26 pays membres de l'OCDE à un questionnaire portant sur l'organisation institutionnelle du secteur public de l'éducation primaire et secondaire. Les indicateurs fournissent une vue d'ensemble des caractéristiques institutionnelles susceptibles de contribuer aux différences d'efficacité de la dépense publique entre les pays dans le secteur éducatif. Les caractéristiques institutionnelles prises en compte sont regroupées autour de trois dimensions : i) la capacité à allouer efficacement les ressources consacrées à l'éducation publique (décentralisation, prise en compte de besoins spécifiques), ii) l'efficacité de la gestion au niveau local (fixations d'objectifs, autonomie des écoles), et iii) l'efficacité de la fourniture de service éducatif au niveau local grâce à des mécanismes de marché (évaluation des performances, rôle du choix de l'usager). Pour chaque pays, un indicateur intermédiaire est calculé pour chacune de ces six caractéristiques institutionnelles. Un indicateur composite est alors construit qui fournit une mesure synthétique de la qualité des institutions du secteur public de l'éducation au regard de leur capacité à renforcer l'efficacité de la dépense publique. Les résultats montrent en particulier que les institutions éducatives sont relativement favorables à l'efficacité de la dépense publique au Royaume-Uni, en Australie, en Norvège, au Danemark et aux Pays-Bas ; et relativement défavorables en République Tchèque, en Grèce, au Luxembourg, au Japon, en Turquie, en Hongrie, en Belgique (communauté francophone), en Suisse et en Autriche.

Suggested Citation

  • Frédéric Gonand & Isabelle Joumard & Robert Price, 2007. "Public Spending Efficiency: Institutional Indicators in Primary and Secondary Education," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 543, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:543-en
    DOI: 10.1787/315010655867

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Romina Boarini, 2009. "Towards better Schools and more Equal Opportunities for Learning in Italy," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 727, OECD Publishing.
    2. Fragetta, Matteo, 2010. "Identification in Structural Vector Autoregressions Through Graphical Modelling and Monetary Policy: A Cross-Country Analysis," CELPE Discussion Papers 112, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.
    3. Karin Fischer & Rauf Gönenç & Robert Price, 2011. "Austria: Public Sector Inefficiencies Have Become Less Affordable," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 897, OECD Publishing.
    4. Caroline Klein & Robert Price & Andreas Wörgötter, 2013. "Improving the Fiscal Framework to Enhance Growth in an Era of Fiscal Consolidation in Slovakia," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1018, OECD Publishing.
    5. Tatjana Slavova, 2008. "A rank order and efficiency evaluation of the EU regions in a social framework," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 339-367, September.
    6. Bruno Eugène, 2008. "The efficiency frontier as a method for gauging the performance of public expenditure : a Belgian case study," Working Paper Research 138, National Bank of Belgium.
    7. Robert P. Hagemann, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 6. What Are the Best Policy Instruments for Fiscal Consolidation?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 937, OECD Publishing.
    8. Christine Mayrhuber & Matthias Firgo & Hans Pitlik & Alois Guger & Ewald Walterskirchen, 2018. "Sozialstaat und Standortqualität," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 61006, October.
    9. Kirjavainen, Tanja, 2007. "Efficiency of Finnish Upper Secondary Schools: An Application of Stochastic Frontier Analysis with Panel Data," Discussion Papers 428, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller & Rossana Merola, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 1. How Much is Needed and How to Reduce Debt to a Prudent Level?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 932, OECD Publishing.
    11. Ehtisham Ahmad & Giorgio Brosio (ed.), 2015. "Handbook of Multilevel Finance," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14380.

    More about this item


    benchmarks; choix de l'usager; decentralisation; décentralisation; Education nationale; efficacité de la dépense publique; Indicateurs institutionnels; institutional indicators; management par objectif; managerial autonomy in the public sector; outcome-focused public policies; Public education; Public spending efficiency; user choice; évaluation des performances;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:543-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.