Title: Efficiency of Italian universities: the effect of controllable and non-controllable environmental and operational variables

Authors: Silvia Cantele; Andrea Guerrini; Bettina Campedelli

Addresses: Department of Business Administration, University of Verona, Via Cantarane, 24, 37129 Verona, Italy ' Department of Business Administration, University of Verona, Via Cantarane, 24, 37129 Verona, Italy ' Department of Business Administration, University of Verona, Via Cantarane, 24, 37129 Verona, Italy

Abstract: In recent years, Italian universities have undergone deep reform processes that have innovated organisational structures, teachers' careers and courses. Based on data collected for 75 Italian universities, this study presents a comparative analysis of the efficiency of Italian universities using the data envelopment analysis (DEA) technique, and attempts to explain the different efficiency levels found in light of environmental and organisation-specific factors such as size, ownership, geographical location and human resources composition. Adopting a robust DEA bootstrapping procedure, the article demonstrates that the presence of private investors boosts efficiency; similarly, the largest universities and those located in the northern regions have the best performance.

Keywords: university efficiency; data envelopment analysis; DEA; Italy; scale economies; ownership structure; organisational choice; human resources; geographical location; teaching activities; research quality; higher education; environmental variables; operational variables; private investment; universities.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPP.2016.079737

International Journal of Public Policy, 2016 Vol.12 No.3/4/5/6, pp.243 - 260

Received: 31 Dec 2015
Accepted: 15 Apr 2016

Published online: 07 Oct 2016 *

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