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The efficiency of public schools: the case of Kuwait

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Nadeem A. Burney
  • Jill Johnes
  • Mohammed Al-Enezi
  • Marwa Al-Musallam
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Education Economics
Issue number4
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)360-379
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date6/09/11
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper investigates the technical, allocative and economic efficiency of public schools in Kuwait over four levels of schooling (kindergartens, primary, intermediate and secondary) and two periods (1999/00 and 2004/05) using data envelopment analysis (DEA). Mean pure technical efficiency varies between 0.695 and 0.852 across all levels of education; the majority of schools at kindergarten, primary and intermediate levels are operating at a point where returns to scale are increasing; and there are considerable cost efficiencies to be gained. In a second stage analysis of the determinants of efficiency, teacher salary and the proportion of teaching staff who are Kuwaiti are highly significant in explaining school efficiency at all levels. The former has a positive effect and the latter a negative effect. All-girls schools have significantly higher efficiency than all-boys schools. There is limited evidence that geographical location affects efficiency, and this may be a consequence of differences between regions in terms of affluence or density of population.