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Relative Efficiency of Public Education in the New EUMember States: The Case of Primary Education

Aleksander Aristovnik

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Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to review some previous researches on the efficiency measurement of public (primary) education sector as well as some conceptual and methodological issues of nonparametric approach. Most importantly, Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) technique is presented and then applied to the wide range of the EU and OECD countries, including new EU member states, to evaluate technical efficiency within the selected education sector in 1999-2009 period. The empirical results show that within a selected group of EU member states Denmark, Hungary and Portugal are seen as most efficient in primary education sector. The efficient countries are also Greece and Romania, however, their primary expenditures per student (in % of GDP) is very low and have averaged less than 12% (the EU/OECD average is 18.7% in the considered period). In addition, some countries come very close to the frontier (e.g. Czech R.), while the other countries are further away and therefore less efficient (e.g. Croatia). On the other hand, the least efficient countries are Belgium, Sweden and Croatia. Some less efficient countries should significantly decrease their input (primary expenditure per student) (e.g. Slovenia from 27.0% to 22.0%) and/or increase their outputs, i.e. school enrolment (e.g. Ireland and Poland), primary completion rate (Belgium) and teacher-pupil ratio (Ireland) in order to become efficient. In general, the new EU member states are relatively more efficient than non-EU countries in the sample, however, they show relatively low efficiency against the old EU-member states.

Keywords: efficiency; primary education; DEA approach; new EU member states; EU; OECD (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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