Flegg, A. T. and Allen, D. O.
Congestion in the new British universities: A further analysis.
Journal of the Operations Research Society, 52 (2).
Publisher's URL: http://www.orsj.or.jp/
The focus of this paper is on the problem of congestion, which refers to a situation where the use of a certain input has increased by so much that output has actually fallen. This problem is explored using the methodological framework proposed by Färe et al. Annual data are examined for a sample of 41 new British universities in the period 1995/6 to 2003/4. These former polytechnics were granted university status in 1992. A widespread problem of congestion is identified. The results reveal that the order in which technical efficiency is decomposed into scale efficiency, congestion efficiency and pure technical efficiency makes a noticeable difference to the amount of congestion identified. The results also clearly indicate that an excessive number of undergraduate students is the largest single cause of congestion in these new universities. The paper concludes by considering the results from the alternative approach to the measurement of congestion formulated by Cooper et al.
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