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Education Production Functions

Education production functions are an application of the production function concept from economics to educational outcomes. Production functions relate the output produced to the inputs used and were first proposed as descriptions of manufacturing and agricultural processes in the late 19th century. Applications to educational outcomes and institutions began in the late 1960s. Initially, traditional economic concepts such as economies of scale were investigated, followed by estimates of economic efficiency for different educational institutions from elementary schools to colleges and universities. A major finding is that socioeconomic characteristics of students appear to influence educational outcomes more than the resources available to institutions do, although measurement problems confound efforts at general conclusions. This entry describes the development of production function techniques in economics and then reviews ...

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