Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 245: The Economic Efficiency of Swedish Higher Education Institutions

Zara Daghbashyan ()
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Zara Daghbashyan: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Using parametric frontier techniques, this paper investigates the economic efficiency of Swedish higher education institutions (HEIs) with an attempt to determine the factors causing efficiency differences. The analysis is conducted for 30 HEIs over the time period 2001-2005. A set of HEI organizational factors as well as faculty and student compositions are examined as potential determinants of economic efficiency. According to the estimates, half of the Swedish HEIs have above average efficiency of 85 percent. The economic efficiency is positively affected by HEI size, the number of students per faculty and a high proportion of young professors in the faculty. Another interesting finding is that the source of financing matters for efficient use of resources; in particular, HEIs with a higher level of government support are found to be less efficient.

Keywords: Cost efficiency; Stochastic Frontier Analysis; Universities

JEL-codes: C21; C24; I21

32 pages, First version: March 11, 2011. Revised: December 17, 2012.

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