How Does Ukraine Deal with the Efficiency of Public Spending on Education Compared to European Union Countries?
Purpose: Every human has a right to education. The states are required to provide educational services to every citizen, as it is an essential tool for creating and enhancing the knowledge and skills of a given society. The aim of this study is to investigate how Ukraine deals with the efficiency of public spending on education, as compared to the other EU countries. Design/Methodology/Approach: As a quantitative tool, a non-parametric Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) has been applied. The DEA evaluates the technical efficiency and aims at estimating the relationship between the inputs and outputs of homogeneous objects. It is a powerful, non-parametric method for evaluating the relative efficiency when there are multiple inputs and outputs. The variant of the super-efficiency and non-oriented, slack-based DEA model, under the assumption of variable returns to scale has been used in this study. Findings: The DEA computations showed that Ukraine fared very well, as compared to 22 EU countries, taking second place in the DEA super efficiency ranking (δ = 1.18). This result confirmed that in terms of the technical efficiency of public spending on education, Ukraine was doing much better than many EU member states. It does not mean that the Ukrainian education system should be considered a model one, but only that with relatively low expenditure on education, Ukraine achieves above-average results. Practical Implications: The results of the study help to identify areas of state activity in which Ukraine meets the standards of the European Union countries and justify the need to introduce appropriate aid to support Ukraine in its pursuit of the EU membership. Originality/Value: The study complements the existing knowledge in the literature with evidence-based discussion on the opportunities and threats of Ukraine joining the EU.