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Journal cover: Quality Assurance in Education

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Online from: 1993

Subject Area: Education

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Measurement of productivity and quality in non-marketable services: With application to schools

Document Information:
Title:Measurement of productivity and quality in non-marketable services: With application to schools
Author(s):R. Färe, (Department of Economics, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA), S. Grosskopf, (Department of Economics, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA), F.R. Forsund, (Department of Economics, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway), K. Hayes, (Department of Economics, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA), A. Heshmati, (TEPP, College of Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea)
Citation:R. Färe, S. Grosskopf, F.R. Forsund, K. Hayes, A. Heshmati, (2006) "Measurement of productivity and quality in non-marketable services: With application to schools", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 14 Iss: 1, pp.21 - 36
Keywords:Productivity rate, Public schools, Quality, Sweden
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/09684880610643593 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – This paper seeks to model and compute productivity, including a measure of quality, of a service which does not have marketable outputs – namely public education at the micro level. This application is a case study for Sweden public schools.

Design/methodology/approach – A Malmquist productivity index is employed which allows for multiple outputs or outcomes such as test results and promotions without requiring price data with which to aggregate these outputs. It also allows one to account for inputs such as teachers and facilities as well as proxies for quality of the inputs (e.g. experience of teachers) and outputs. This model generalizes the basic data envelopment analysis (DEA) models – used successfully to measure performance in many educational applications – to the intertemporal case. A way of computing quality and quantity components of overall productivity is employed.

Findings – The case study is an application to the Swedish primary and secondary school system over the 1992 to 1995 period. It was found that quality “matters”, i.e. productivity growth changes when one accounts for quantity.

Research limitations/implications – The data available implied that the specification is restricted to an intermediate production model, i.e. the output data only account for the intermediate outcomes of education like grades and promotions, but not the longer term outcomes related to success in the job market or higher education, which one proposed as a task for future research.

Originality/value – The indices which are computed at the micro level are of value for policy purposes (does investment in quality matter?) and in an evaluation context.

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