Title: Standard costs for Italian primary public schools: a simulation through a cost function approach

Authors: Tommaso Agasisti; Piergiacomo Sibiano

Addresses: Department of Economics, Management and Industrial Engineering, School of Management, Politecnico di Milano, via Lambruschini 4B, 20156 Milano, Italy ' CEUR Foundation, Camplus Bononia College, via Sante Vincenzi, 40138 Bologna, Italy

Abstract: In Italy, the process of devolving more powers on educational matters to regions and schools poses some relevant policy challenges, among which the necessity to determine 'standard' costs for schools stands as a major priority. In this paper, we propose an approach based on estimating a cost function through statistical techniques; we apply it to a sample of 587 public primary schools in an Italian region. On the basis of estimations, we simulate school-level standard costs, cost indexes, and discuss the potential reallocation of resources across schools; moreover, we also formulate hypotheses about the additional costs required to provide adequate educational standards in terms of achievement scores.

Keywords: school efficiency; school performance; school funding; standard costs; Italy; primary schools; simulation; cost function; resource allocation; primary education; educational standards; achievement scores.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPSPM.2015.067815

International Journal of Public Sector Performance Management, 2015 Vol.2 No.3, pp.253 - 272

Published online: 27 Feb 2015 *

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