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Persistent inefficiency in the higher education sector: Evidence from Germany

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  • Gralka, Sabine

Abstract

Evaluations of the Higher Education Sector are receiving increased attention, due to the rising expenditures and the absence of efficiency enhancing market pressure. To what extent universities are able to eliminate inefficiency is a question that has only partially been answered. This paper argues that heterogeneity among universities as well as persistent inefficiency hinder the institutions to achieve full efficiency - at least in the short run. Two standard and one novel specification of the Stochastic Frontier Analysis are applied to a new, comprehensive set of panel data to show how the standard efficiency evaluation changes when both aspects are taken into account. It is the first time that the idea of persistent inefficiency is considered in the analysis of the German Higher Education Sector. The comparison reveals that the disregard of heterogeneity distorts the estimation results towards lower efficiency values. The newly introduced specification improves the accuracy of the heterogeneity assumption and exposes that inefficiency tends to be long term and persistent rather than short term and residual. This implies that increasing efficiency requires a comprehensive change of the university structure.

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  • Gralka, Sabine, 2016. "Persistent inefficiency in the higher education sector: Evidence from Germany," CEPIE Working Papers 06/16, Technische Universität Dresden, Center of Public and International Economics (CEPIE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:tudcep:0616
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    Cited by:

    1. Wohlrabe, Klaus & Bornmann, Lutz & de Moya Anegon, Felix, 2017. "Wie effizient sind Universitäten in Deutschland, deren Zukunftskonzepte im Rahmen der Exzellenzinitiative ausgezeichnet wurden? Ein empirischer Vergleich von Input- und Output-Daten zur Forschung [," MPRA Paper 76218, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Klaus Wohlrabe & Lutz Bornmann & Sabine Gralka & Felix de Moya Anegon, 2018. "Wie effizient forschen Universitäten in Deutschland, deren Zukunftskonzepte im Rahmen der Exzellenzinitiative ausgezeichnet wurden?," ifo Working Paper Series 253, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    3. Tommaso Agasisti & Sabine Gralka, 2019. "The transient and persistent efficiency of Italian and German universities: a stochastic frontier analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(46), pages 5012-5030, October.
    4. Lutz Bornmann & Klaus Wohlrabe & Sabine Gralka, 2019. "The graduation shift of German universities of applied sciences," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(1), pages 1-19, January.
    5. Oleg Badunenko & Deni Mazrekaj & Subal C. Kumbhakar & Kristof Witte, 2021. "Persistent and transient inefficiency in adult education," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 60(6), pages 2925-2942, June.
    6. Cantner, Uwe & Grashof, Nils & Grebel, Thomas & Zhang, Xijie, 2023. "When Excellence is not Excellent: The Impact of the Excellence Initiative on the Relative Productivity of German Universities," MPRA Paper 118139, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Gralka, Sabine & Wohlrabe, Klaus & Bornmann, Lutz, 2017. "The Completion Shift of German Universities of Applied Sciences," MPRA Paper 82794, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Gralka, Sabine, 2018. "Stochastic frontier analysis in higher education: A systematic review," CEPIE Working Papers 05/18, Technische Universität Dresden, Center of Public and International Economics (CEPIE).
    9. Klaus Wohlrabe & Sabine Gralka, 2020. "Using archetypoid analysis to classify institutions and faculties of economics," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 123(1), pages 159-179, April.
    10. Klaus Wohlrabe & Sabine Gralka & Lutz Bornmann, 2019. "Zur Effizienz deutscher Universitäten und deren Entwicklung zwischen 2004 und 2015," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 72(21), pages 15-21, November.
    11. Tran, Carolyn D.T.T. & Battese, George E. & Villano, Renato A., 2020. "Administrative capacity assessment in higher education: The case of universities in Vietnam," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    12. Manuel Salas‐Velasco, 2020. "Assessing the performance of Spanish secondary education institutions: Distinguishing between transient and persistent inefficiency, separated from heterogeneity," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 88(4), pages 531-555, July.
    13. Sabine Gralka & Klaus Wohlrabe & Lutz Bornmann, 2018. "How to Measure Research Efficiency in Higher Education? Research Grants vs. Publication Output," CESifo Working Paper Series 7055, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Persistent Inefficiency; Stochastic Frontier Analysis; Cost Efficiency; Higher Education; Germany;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education

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