Scale and pure efficiencies of New Zealand secondary schools
Alexander, W Robert J; Jaforullah, Mohammad
The scale efficiency of schools is a controversial matter. Government quite naturally wants to capture such scale efficiencies as are available, while parents and educators often favour smaller schools because of their perceived quality advantages that are not easily measurable. We use data envelopment analysis to calculate three different measures of the efficiency with which New Zealand secondary schools transform basic inputs into outputs. There is considerable variation across schools on all three measures: scale, pure and overall efficiencies. We more closely examine our sample broken down by ownership type, by single-sex/co-educational and by location. All of these factors influence the efficiency measures, with scale disadvantages evident in rural versus urban schools, Integrated schools generally outperforming State schools and single-sex schools outperforming co-educational ones, especially in pure efficiency terms. We then present evidence that higher socio-economic status of a school’s community confers both scale and pure efficiency advantages and use regression analysis to quantify the effects at work.
Publisher: University of Otago
Series number: 501
Research Type: Discussion Paper