The productivity of Colombian public schools and its determinants from a value-added perspective, 2014–2019




efficiency, productivity, public school, Colombia, value added, Data Envelopment Analysis, malmquist index


Identifying how efficient public schools are – that is, the academic performance they can generate with the available inputs – is relevant information for designing public policies to improve education quality. Using a two-stage data envelopment analysis (DEA) and the Malmquist index, this study measures the efficiency of public schools in Colombia and their productivity evolution. The sample includes 3,854 public schools and standardized test records for students in 9th and 11th grade for the period 2014–2019.  The findings reveal that productivity remained relatively stagnant in the period  and that on average, schools could have increased outputs by 18.5% with the inputs available to them. The increase in productivity can be associated to two policy initiatives: the nationwide scholarship Ser Pilo Paga (which encouraged high-achieving low-income students to devote more effort to the exit examinations) and the Synthetic Index of Educational Quality (which provided rewards to schools that showed academic progresses).


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The productivity of Colombian public schools and its determinants from a value-added perspective, 2014–2019. (2024). Latin American Economic Review, 32, 1-25.

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