Does it matter How We Measure Congestion?
This paper examines three alternative methods of measuring congestion, from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. These methods are the conventional approach of Färe and Grosskopf, the alternative proposed by Cooper et al., and a new method developed by Tone and Sahoo. Each method is found to have merits and demerits. The properties of the different methods are examined using data for 41 ‘new’ British universities in the period 1995/6 to 2003/4. Contrary to expectations, Färe and Grosskopf’s approach generally indicates substantially more congestion than do the other procedures. The main reason for this is identified as being its use of CRS rather than VRS as the assumed technology. While the alternative measures of congestion are found to be positively correlated, the correlations are not strong enough for them to be regarded as substitutes. All methods suggest the existence of a widespread problem of congestion in the new universities, although they differ noticeably as regards its severity.Length: 37 pages
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