Presentation Open Access

RISIS Research Seminar: Quality as a latent heterogeneity factor in the efficiency of universities

Daraio, Cinzia

Joint work with Leopold Simar and Paul W. Wilson, Economic Modelling, forthcoming

In this paper we show the usefulness of recent advanced nonparametric efficiency techniques to model the performance of universities in the presence of observed and unobserved heterogeneity. Using directional distances for benchmarking purposes, we identify a latent heterogeneity factor related to the human capital of the universities and their management, that is independent from their size, and interpret the identified latent factor as a “quality” factor of the universities.

After testing the significance of this latent factor, we investigate its impact on the boundary of the production set (efficient frontier) and on the distances of the units from the efficient frontier. The frontier and the efficiency distribution of our European Universities sample appear influenced by our estimated latent quality factor. We investigate these impacts from various points of view, including the trade-off between our quality factor and efficiency as well as the roles of size and specialization.

Link to the draft paper:


Joanna Wolszczak-Derlacz, Gdanks University of Technology has been involved as discussant.

Files (1.2 MB)
Name Size
Daraio_RISIS_Seminar_10 May 2021_final.pdf
1.2 MB Download
All versions This version
Views 8888
Downloads 1010
Data volume 12.2 MB12.2 MB
Unique views 7171
Unique downloads 1010


Cite as