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Evaluating the efficiency of Italian public universities (2008-2011) in presence of (unobserved) heterogeneity

Tommaso Agasisti (), Cristian Barra and Roberto Zotti ()

Working papers from Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica

Abstract: In assessing universities’ performances, the most recent literature underlined that the efficiency scores may suffer from the presence of incidental parameters or time-invariant, often unobservable, effects that lead to biased efficiency estimates. To deal with this problem, we apply a procedure developed by Wang and Ho (2010), for estimating the efficiency in Italian higher education through a multi-output parametric distance function. We show that models which do not consider unobservable heterogeneity tend to estimate higher efficiency scores; we also study the determinants of efficiency. The findings provide a clue towards the expansion of pro-competitive policies in the Italian higher education sector, consistently with the interpretation that when market forces operate, there are benefits for university efficiency. When exploring differences in universities’ performances, by geographical areas, we claim that maintaining State-level policies can be detrimental for overall efficiency, and instead special interventions for universities in the South should be designed.

Keywords: efficiency; unobserved heterogeneity; higher education (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I24 I23 C14 C67 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eff and nep-eur
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Related works:
Journal Article: Evaluating the efficiency of Italian public universities (2008–2011) in presence of (unobserved) heterogeneity (2016) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ipu:wpaper:34

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