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The Distribution of Research Performance Across Australian Universities, 1992-2003, and Its Implications for Higher Education Funding Models



We contribute to the debate on research performance by comparing the distribution of research inputs and outputs across Australian universities during 1992-2003. We have calculated annual Gini coefficients for various performance measures and Lorenz curves for the final year of the study. Various findings are evident. Research-input measures have remained relatively unevenly distributed across universities. Output measures were more evenly distributed and this exhibited a gradual and rather consistent decline through time, supporting the view that the research output is being generated gradually more equally across Australia’s universities. Excluding the "Group of Eight" (Go8) universities, results in a more even distribution of performance. However, in 2003 this group took the lion’s share of research inputs but produced a smaller share of outputs. Our findings are relevant to current funding policy discussion.

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  • Ville, Simon & Valadkhani, Abbas & O'Brien, Martin, 2005. "The Distribution of Research Performance Across Australian Universities, 1992-2003, and Its Implications for Higher Education Funding Models," Economics Working Papers wp05-26, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp05-26

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Johnes, Geraint, 1988. "Determinants of research output in economics departments in British universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 171-178, June.
    2. J. Glass & Donal McKillop & Gary O'Rourke, 1998. "A Cost Indirect Evaluation of Productivity Change in UK Universities," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 153-175, October.
    3. Antreas Athanassopoulos & Estelle Shale, 1997. "Assessing the Comparative Efficiency of Higher Education Institutions in the UK by the Means of Data Envelopment Analysis," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 117-134.
    4. Keiji Hashimoto & Elchanan Cohn, 1997. "Economies of Scale and Scope in Japanese Private Universities," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 107-115.
    5. Claudio Zoli, 1999. "Intersecting generalized Lorenz curves and the Gini index," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 16(2), pages 183-196.
    6. Ying Chu Ng & Sung Ko Li, 2000. "Measuring the Research Performance of Chinese Higher Education Institutions: An Application of Data Envelopment Analysis," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 139-156.
    7. Abbott, M. & Doucouliagos, C., 2003. "The efficiency of Australian universities: a data envelopment analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 89-97, February.
    8. Esmaiel Abounoori & Patrick McCloughan, 2003. "A simple way to calculate the Gini Coefficient for grouped as well as ungrouped data," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(8), pages 505-509.
    9. Andrew Worthington, 2001. "An Empirical Survey of Frontier Efficiency Measurement Techniques in Education," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 245-268.
    10. Branko Milanovic, 1994. "The Gini-Type Functions: An Alternative Derivation," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 81-90, January.
    11. Johnes, Jill & Johnes, Geraint, 1995. "Research funding and performance in U.K. University Departments of Economics: A frontier analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 301-314, September.
    12. Richard Pomfret & Liang Choon Wang, 2003. "Evaluating The Research Output Of Australian Universities' Economics Departments," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 418-441, December.
    13. Glass, J C & McKillop, Donal G & Hyndman, N, 1995. "Efficiency in the Provision of University Teaching and Research: An Empirical Analysis of UK Universities," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(1), pages 61-72, Jan.-Marc.
    14. Guano Hua Wan, 1999. "An empirical assessment on alternative functional forms of the Lorenz curve," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(9), pages 597-599.
    15. Joan R. Rodgers & Abbas Valadkhani, 2006. "A Multidimensional Ranking of Australian Economics Departments," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(256), pages 30-43, March.
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    More about this item


    Higher education; Research output distribution; Gini coefficient;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A19 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Other
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • I29 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Other

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