Munich Personal RePEc Archive

A comparison of public and private schools in Spain using robust nonparametric frontier methods

Cordero, José Manuel and Prior, Diego and Simancas Rodríguez, Rosa (2013): A comparison of public and private schools in Spain using robust nonparametric frontier methods.

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Abstract

This paper uses an innovative approach to evaluate educational performance of Spanish students in PISA 2009. Our purpose is to decompose their overall inefficiency between different components with a special focus on studying the differences between public and state subsidized private schools. We use a technique inspired by the non-parametric Free Disposal Hull (FDH) and the application of robust order-m models, which allow us to mitigate the influence of outliers and the curse of dimensionality. Subsequently, we adopt a metafrontier framework to assess each student relative to the own group best practice frontier (students in the same school) and to different frontiers constructed from the best practices of different types of schools. The results show that state-subsidised private schools outperform public schools, although the differences between them are significantly reduced once we control for the type of students enrolled in both type of centres.

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