Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Technical and cost efficiency of oral health care provision in Finnish health centres


Author Info

  • Linna, Miika
  • Nordblad, Anne
  • Koivu, Matti
Registered author(s):


    In this study we measured the productive efficiency of public dental health provision across Finland. The analysis was based on data envelopment analysis (DEA) using linear programming. In addition, we investigated various factors explaining the technical and cost efficiency of public dental care using a parametric Tobit model. These analyses revealed substantial variation in productive efficiency between health centres in different municipalities. The level of cost inefficiency was generally between 20% and 30%. Good dental health of the population, high rates of unemployment and high per capita expenditure on primary care in the municipality were associated with technical and cost inefficiency. According to the results, cost efficiency would not be improved by shifting input allocation towards more auxiliary manpower in health centres. Individual efficiency scores were clearly sensitive to the choice of output specification. Changing the unit of output measurement from visit- to patient-based measures affected markedly the ranking of dental health centres. However, the set of exogenous correlates associated to inefficiency was strikingly similar for both types of output specification. More resources are needed if the coverage of public dental care is extended to all age groups. The health centre specific efficiency scores obtained in this study can be used locally to evaluate, design and implement structural changes in the production processes.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 2 (January)
    Pages: 343-353

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:2:p:343-353

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Order Information:

    Related research

    Keywords: Oral health Financing Cost efficiency Data envelopment analysis Finland;


    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Pelone, Ferruccio & Kringos, Dionne Sofia & Valerio, Luca & Romaniello, Alessandro & Lazzari, Agnese & Ricciardi, Walter & de Belvis, Antonio Giulio, 2012. "The measurement of relative efficiency of general practice and the implications for policy makers," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 258-268.
    2. Olga Milliken & Rose Anne Devlin & Vicky Barham & William Hogg & Simone Dahrouge & Grant Russell, 2008. "Comparative Efficiency Assessment of Primary Care Models Using Data Envelopment Analysis," Working Papers 0802E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:2:p:343-353. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.