A comparative analysis of the efficiency of national education systems

Claudio Thieme, Víctor Giménez, Diego Prior

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The present study assesses the performance of 54 participating countries in PISA 2006. It employs efficiency indicators that relate result variables with resource variables used in the production of educational services. Desirable outputs of educational achievement and undesirable outputs of educational inequality are considered jointly as result variables. A construct that captures the quality and quantity of educational resources consumed is used as resource variables. Similarly, environmental variables of each educational system are included in the efficiency evaluation model; while these resources are not controllable by the managers of the education systems, they do affect outcomes. We find that European countries are characterized by weak management, the Americans (mainly Latin Americans) by a weak endowment of resources, and the Asians by a high level of heterogeneity. In particular, Asia combines countries with optimal systems (South Korea and Macao-China); countries with managerial problems (Hong Kong, China-Taipei, Japan and Israel); others where the main challenge is the weak endowment of resources (Jordan and Kyrgyzstan), and, finally, others where the main problem is in the long run since it concerns structural conditions of a socioeconomic and cultural nature (Turkey, Thailand, and Indonesia). © 2011 Education Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalAsia Pacific Education Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


  • Efficiency
  • International comparison
  • PISA
  • Schools


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