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Regional Quantity, Productivity and Efficiency Measures of the Swiss Health Care System


  • Reto Schleiniger


In Switzerland, there are substantial cantonal differences in per capita cost of the mandatory health care system. The present paper breaks these differences down into price and quantity effects revealing both, a large quantity and a somewhat smaller price variance across cantons. As a statistical fact, a positive correlation of price and quantity index results. Dividing the inferred quantity output index by a corresponding input index yields a measure of total factor productivity. While the canton of Zurich exhibits the highest productivity, the measures in Geneva, Neuchâtel, Berne and Vaud are far below average. Finally, a data envelopment analysis of hospital services shows little evidence for variable returns to scale implying that low productivities are, for the most part, due to pure technological slacks.

Suggested Citation

  • Reto Schleiniger, 2008. "Regional Quantity, Productivity and Efficiency Measures of the Swiss Health Care System," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 144(III), pages 459-476, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2008-iii-8

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. António Afonso & Miguel St. Aubyn, 2005. "Non-parametric approaches to education and health efficiency in OECD countries," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 8, pages 227-246, November.
    2. Mehdi Farsi & Massimo Filippini, 2006. "An Analysis of Efficiency and Productivity in Swiss Hospitals," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 142(I), pages 1-37, March.
    3. L. Steinmann & P. Zweifel, 2003. "On the (in)efficiency of Swiss hospitals," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 361-370.
    4. Hill, Robert J, 1997. "A Taxonomy of Multilateral Methods for Making International Comparisons of Prices and Quantities," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(1), pages 49-69, March.
    5. António Afonso & Ludger Schuknecht & Vito Tanzi, 2005. "Public sector efficiency: An international comparison," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 321-347, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karmann, Alexander & Roesel, Felix, 2016. "Hospital policy and productivity: Evidence from German states," CEPIE Working Papers 07/16, Technische Universität Dresden, Center of Public and International Economics (CEPIE).
    2. Schleiniger, Reto, 2014. "Health care cost in Switzerland: Quantity- or price-driven?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 83-89.

    More about this item


    price and quantity indices; productivity and efficiency measures; health care;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior


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