On Research Efficiency: A Micro-Analysis of Dutch University Research in Economics and Business Management
We argue that efficiency assessments of academic research should focus on micro-units of research production rather than on conventionally employed (aggregated) macro-units, and show that such a detailed analysis of research performance provides interesting insights. In addition, we propose a non-parametric methodology that is specially tailored for analyzing the productive efficiency of research: it starts from a specification of the managerial objectives of research activities while imposing minimal structure on the (typically unknown) production technology. We illustrate our points by assessing the productive efficiency of research in Economics and Business Management faculties at Dutch universities. Next to measuring productive efficiency, we look for specific patterns in efficiency distributions over universities, years and areas of specialization. In addition, we investigate the impact of external funding and of the size of research programs on academic research efficiency.
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