Public and private school efficiency and equity in Latin America: new evidence based on PISA for development

Author(s): Delprato, Marcos; Antequera, Germán

Date: 2021

Pages: p. 1-13

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Using the recent PISA for Development (2017) learning survey, we offer new evidence on whether there is a private–public schools efficiency gap in Latin America and the role of distinct barriers and inequality on efficiency. We obtain school efficiency scores using Data Envelopment Analysis from 705 schools in four countries – Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Paraguay. We find that the private schools efficiency is 0.88 whereas it is lower for public schools (at 0.82). Thus, there is a positive efficiency gap for private schools, with the lower efficiency in public schools may be explained by the additional obstacles they face (such as higher prevalence of student work). However, there is a greater scope in public schools of boosting efficiency by decreasing inequality and the provision of remedial classes. Whole sample results seem to be driven by two countries: Ecuador and Paraguay.

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