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Working paper

Do Merger Policies Increase University Efficiency? Evidence From A Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design

Agasisti T., Egorov A., Maximova M.
This paper studies the effect of merger policies in Russia on university efficiency. We consider the non-voluntary merger policy conducted by the Ministry of Education and Science based on university performance indicators. First, the efficiency scores of universities are estimated using a bootstrapped DEA non-parametric technique. The efficiency scores were evaluated for universities that were merged and for a control group formed through propensity score matching before and after the implementation of the policy. Then, a fuzzy regression discontinuity design was implemented in order to reveal the causal impact of mergers on efficiency levels. We find a positive, statistically significant effect of merger policy on university efficiency. The results of the analysis suggest that merged universities experience greater efficiency gains (or smaller efficiency declines) after mergers.