Academic journal article IUP Journal of Applied Economics

Evaluating the Technical Efficiency of Elementary Education in India: An Application of DEA

Academic journal article IUP Journal of Applied Economics

Evaluating the Technical Efficiency of Elementary Education in India: An Application of DEA

Article excerpt

This paper assesses the technical efficiency and efficiency differences in elementary education system across Indian states by using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and regression model. It considers different educational outcome variables such as enrolment rate in primary schools and upper primary schools, and completion rate in primary schools and upper primary schools for the period 2007-08. The model also includes several inputs hypothesized to impact the output, such as percentage of habitants with access to primary school within 1 km distance and upper primary school within 3-5 km, and percentage of full-time teachers in primary and upper primary schools. Using DEA, the paper is able to separate states that might qualify as performing well from those where some improvement might be possible in terms of efficiency. This could imply a better allocation by the states with usually scarce resources available for elementary education in India. Results show that Delhi, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Nagaland with relatively high achievement values in education sector are also operating at the efficient frontier. On the other hand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh have low outcomes, but the problem with these states is that given their current input levels, there is limited scope for improving their outcomes and catching up with the better-offstates. It is argued here that adequate inputs need to be made available for such states either by generating and investing more in education sector by the states or by better usage of the existing centrally-sponsored schemes. The study also makes an attempt to identify the determinants of efficiency by using simple regression model.

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

Introduction

Education system provides a basis for the development of human capital. In the majority of countries in the world (especially developed countries), education is considered to be, although in the long run, decisive for the process of reallocation of social influence and power. Raising the education level of the population as a whole has been recognized as a significant factor for the economic development of the society. There are two ways in which education contributes to the economic advancement of the society. The first way is by increasing the level of education of the overall population through acquiring of higher level of education by the insufficiently educated groups and gaining qualifications suited to the needs of the society. The conditions necessary for the achievement of this strategic contribution of education are created by extending the duration of compulsory education, opening up the education system to include marginalized groups, opening up the system of vocational education to the economic needs of the society, and creating systemic opportunities for gaining adult qualifications (Klein, 2007). The second way in which education can contribute to the economic strengthening of the society is through increasing the efficiency of the education system itself. An education system may be called efficient when it attains the maximum level of output for a minimum level of input. In the recent years, the performance measurement concerns for education sector have attracted a great deal of attention. Given the structures of education sector, it is of considerable interest to measure the efficiency of the evolving sector and explain the variation in the (in)efficiency of the sector (Fredriksen and Jee, 2008).

Much of the research in economics of education has focused on the economic consequences of the quantity (years) of education and ignored the role of efficiency. In large federal structures like that of India, how efficiently and effectively the education system is delivered depends on who provides them. Education system in India is a subject in the concurrent list of the Indian Constitution and hence both union and state governments have a claim on the provision of the service. …

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