, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 67-82,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 10 Oct 2012

Dynamics of productivity in higher education: cross-european evidence based on bootstrapped Malmquist indices

Abstract

This study examines patterns of productivity change in a large set of 266 public higher education institutions (HEIs) in 7 European countries across the time period 2001–2005. We adopt consistent bootstrap estimation procedures to obtain confidence intervals for Malmquist indices of HEI productivity and their components. Consequently, we are able to assess the statistical significance of changes in HEI productivity, efficiency and technology. Our results suggest that, assessed vis-à-vis a common ‘European’ frontier, HEI productivity rose on average by 4 % annually. Statistically significant changes in productivity were registered in 90 % of observations on the institutions in our sample, but statistically significant annual improvements in overall productivity took place in only 56 % of cases. There are considerable national differences, with German, Italian and Swiss HEIs performing better in terms of productivity change than HEIs from the other countries examined.