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Distinguishing Between Heterogeneity and Inefficiency: Stochastic Frontier Analysis of the World Health Organization’s Panel Data on National Health Care Systems

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  • William Greene

Abstract

The most commonly used approaches to parametric (stochastic frontier) analysis of efficiency in panel data, notably the fixed and random effects models, fail to distinguish between cross individual heterogeneity and inefficiency. This blending of effects is particularly problematic in the World Health Organization's (WHO) panel data set on health care delivery, which is a 191 country, 5-year panel. The wide variation in cultural and economic characteristics of the worldwide sample produces a large amount of unmeasured heterogeneity in the data. This study examines several alternative approaches to stochastic frontier analysis with panel data, and applies some of them to the WHO data. A more general, flexible model and several measured indicators of cross country heterogeneity are added to the analysis done by previous researchers. Results suggest that there is considerable heterogeneity that has masqueraded as inefficiency in other studies using the same data. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 03-10.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:03-10

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Postal: New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics, 44 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10012-1126
Phone: (212) 998-0860
Fax: (212) 995-4218
Web page: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/economics/
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  1. Hsiao,Cheng, 2003. "Analysis of Panel Data," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521818551, October.
  2. Polachek, Solomon W & Yoon, Bong Joon, 1996. "Panel Estimates of a Two-Tiered Earnings Frontier," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(2), pages 169-78, March-Apr.
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  4. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
  5. William Greene, 2002. "Fixed and Random Effects in Stochastic Frontier Models," Working Papers 02-16, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  6. William Greene, 2001. "Fixed and Random Effects in Nonlinear Models," Working Papers 01-01, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  7. Cornwell, Christopher & Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C., 1990. "Production frontiers with cross-sectional and time-series variation in efficiency levels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 185-200.
  8. Luis Orea & Subal C. Kumbhakar, 2004. "Efficiency measurement using a latent class stochastic frontier model," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 169-183, January.
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  11. Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C, 1984. "Production Frontiers and Panel Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(4), pages 367-74, October.
  12. Kumbhakar,Subal C. & Lovell,C. A. Knox, 2003. "Stochastic Frontier Analysis," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521666633, October.
  13. Jondrow, James & Knox Lovell, C. A. & Materov, Ivan S. & Schmidt, Peter, 1982. "On the estimation of technical inefficiency in the stochastic frontier production function model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 233-238, August.
  14. Wang, Hung-jen & Schmidt, Peter, 2001. "One-step and two-step estimation of the effects of exogenous variables on technical efficiency levels," MPRA Paper 31075, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2002.
  15. Battese, G E & Coelli, T J, 1995. "A Model for Technical Inefficiency Effects in a Stochastic Frontier Production Function for Panel Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 325-32.
  16. Pitt, Mark M. & Lee, Lung-Fei, 1981. "The measurement and sources of technical inefficiency in the Indonesian weaving industry," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 43-64, August.
  17. Greene, William H., 1990. "A Gamma-distributed stochastic frontier model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 141-163.
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