Approaching effects of the economic crisis on university efficiency: a comparative study of Germany and Italy

Abstract

In this paper, we compare the efficiency of the Italian and German universities in the process of transforming public funding into the multiple outputs of a university, i.e. graduating students, publishing research, and patenting activity. We do this with a particular focus on the policies implemented following the financial crisis in 2008. Using a sample of 133 public universities, of which 73 public universities in Germany and 60 public universities in Italy observed over the period 2006–2011 we find that Italian universities perform significantly better in terms of output maximization than German universities. The crisis does not show a general impact, while the treatment effect indicates that Italian universities coped better during the crisis than their German counterparts at a highly significant level.

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Fig. 1

Source Own calculations using MaxDEA

Notes

  1. 1.

    German federal and state governments launched the Excellence Initiative in 2005 to support outstanding research and to enable selected universities competing worldwide.

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Correspondence to Sarah A. E. Stockinger.

Additional information

This project benefitted from presentations at the XVII Annual Scientific Meeting of the Associazizone italiana Ingegneria Gestionale on October 13th and 14th, 2016, as well as at the 4th Workshop on Education in Efficiency in Milan on October 20th and 21st, 2016. In particular, we are grateful to Mattia Cattaneo (University of Bergamo), Cristina Rossi-Lamastra (Technical University of Milan), Tommaso Agasisti (Technical University of Milan) and two anonymous reviewers for their very constructive comments and suggestions. Of course, the authors are responsible for any remaining error. Parts of the project were kindly funded by the competence center for Global Business Management in Augsburg.

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Lehmann, E.E., Meoli, M., Paleari, S. et al. Approaching effects of the economic crisis on university efficiency: a comparative study of Germany and Italy. Eurasian Bus Rev 8, 37–54 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40821-017-0091-7

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Keywords

  • Higher education
  • Economic crisis
  • Governance
  • Data envelopment analysis
  • Scale efficiency

JEL Classification

  • H11
  • H12
  • I2
  • N30