Efficiency of junior high schools and the role of proprietary structure

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19 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we deal with the role of proprietary structure in explaining efficiency within the Italian school industry. We analyze a sample of 497 schools located in Piemonte, a region in the North-Western part of the country, distinguishing between public, private for-profit and private nonprofit schools. In stage one of the analysis, we provide robust estimates of efficiency scores, using the two most widely known techniques in applied works, namely Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and Stochastic Frontiers (SF). In stage two, we suggests that proprietary structure matters in explaining efficiency. Nonprofit schools are more efficient than public ones, whereas for-profit counterparts are outperformed by public producers. Moreover, we find that foreign and disabled students affects negatively efficiency, raising concerns for cream-skimming practices among private producers. Finally, school size is another important determinant of efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-552
Number of pages23
JournalAnnals of Public and Cooperative Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • efficiency
  • nonprofit
  • school


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