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Stepwise Selection Of Variables In Data Envelopment Analysis: Procedures And Managerial Perspectives

Janet M. Wagner, Daniel G. Shimshak
Published 2007 · Mathematics, Computer Science

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Abstract One of the most important steps in the application of modeling using data envelopment analysis (DEA) is the choice of input and output variables. In this paper, we develop a formal procedure for a “stepwise” approach to variable selection that involves sequentially maximizing (or minimizing) the average change in the efficiencies as variables are added or dropped from the analysis. After developing the stepwise procedure, applications from classic DEA studies are presented and the new managerial insights gained from the stepwise procedure are discussed. We discuss how this easy to understand and intuitively sound method yields useful managerial results and assists in identifying DEA models that include variables with the largest impact on the DEA results.
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