Fabiola Saavedra Caballero - Essays on the Efficiency of Higher Education Institutions and the Formal Labor Market

ESPO Louvain-La-Neuve, Mons

04 mai 2022


Le Recteur de l'Université catholique de Louvain fait savoir que

Mme Fabiola Saavedra Caballero 

soutiendra publiquement sa dissertation pour l'obtention du titre de Docteur en sciences économiques et de gestion

Essays on the Efficiency of Higher Education Institutions and the Formal Labor Market

Lien Teams


This thesis presents three essays on the labor market efficiency of higher education institutions when recent graduates from bachelor programs in Colombia become part of the formal labor market. The contribution of this thesis to the analysis of the efficiency of Higher Education Institutions is twofold. First, it proposes to analyze the performance of Higher Education Institutions from the perspective of the recent graduates who became part of the formal labor market instead of using an institutional perspective. And second, it proposes the use of alternative estimation techniques and labor market outcomes than those traditionally used in specialized literature to analyze efficiency. This thesis uses data of recent graduates from Colombian higher education institutions between 2007 and 2011 and is composed of three chapters; the first chapter proposes two new labor market outcomes to be considered in the efficiency analysis (sectoral distinctiveness and sectoral variety) and estimates the efficiency of higher education institutions by field of study using non-parametric Data Envelopment Analysis technique. The second chapter compares the results of three different methodologies used to evaluate the technical efficiency of higher education institutions’ job market performance: Data Envelopment Analysis, Free Disposal Hull and Order-m, and shows that the estimation technique affects the results when super-efficient decision-making units are present, making order-m technique superior to DEA and FDH. The third paper compares the efficiency legacy of Higher Education Institutions understood as the persistence (or fading) of efficiency once recent graduates spend more time in the labor market; the results obtained show that efficiency legacy measured through an order-m Malmquist Productivity Index for most higher education institutions prevails across time; however, the program's knowledge area should be considered while comparing technical efficiency legacy.

Membres du jury

Prof. Sebastien Van Bellegem (UCLouvain), Promoteur
Prof. Monica Ospina Londoño (ICFES – EAFIT University), Promotrice
Prof. Jean Hindriks (UCLouvain), Committee President
Prof. Vincent Vandenberghe (UCLouvain), Committee Secretary
Prof. Miguel Urquiola (Columbia University)
Prof. Catherine Dehon (Université Libre de Bruxelles ULB)

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