Convexity, Quality and Efficiency in Education

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper


While Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) has many attractions as a technique for analysing the efficiency of educational organisations, such as schools and universities, its efficiency estimates are based upon the assumption that the output possibility set is convex. If this assumption does not hold, DEA may overstate the scope for improvements in technical efficiency through proportional increases in all educational outputs and understate the importance of improvements in allocative efficiency from changing the educational output mix. The paper therefore examines conditions under which such convexity may not hold, particularly when the performance and efficiency evaluation includes measures related to the assessed quality of the educational outputs, and the position of the school or university in national league tables. Under such conditions, there is a need to deploy other educational efficiency assessment tools, including an alternative non-parametric output-orientated technique and a more explicit valuation function for educational outputs.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationYork
Number of pages21
VolumeNo. 15/8
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

Publication series

NameDiscussion Papers in Economics
PublisherUniversity of York


  • Data envelopment analysis
  • Quality
  • Education
  • Efficiency analysis
  • Allocative efficiency

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