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Measurement of hospital efficiency, using a latent class stochastic frontier model


  • Carlos Pestana Barros
  • António Gomes de Menezes
  • José Cabral Vieira


This article analyses the technical efficiency of Portuguese hospitals from 1997 to 2008 with the latent class frontier model, enabling the identification of different segments in the cost frontier. It is found that there are three statistically significant segments in the sample, leading to the conclusion that no common health policy can be applicable to all the hospitals analysed, calling rather for policies conceived for each hospital segment identified. The health policy based in the identified segments enables a more accurate and cost effective management of resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Pestana Barros & António Gomes de Menezes & José Cabral Vieira, 2013. "Measurement of hospital efficiency, using a latent class stochastic frontier model," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1), pages 47-54, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:45:y:2013:i:1:p:47-54
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2011.579061

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. William Greene, 2004. "Distinguishing between heterogeneity and inefficiency: stochastic frontier analysis of the World Health Organization's panel data on national health care systems," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(10), pages 959-980.
    4. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R, 1980. "The Relative Efficiency of Public and Private Firms in a Competitive Environment: The Case of Canadian Railroads," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 958-976, October.
    5. Eulália Dalmau-Atarrodona & Jaume Puig-Junoy, 1998. "Market Structure and Hospital Efficiency: Evaluating Potential Effects of Deregulation in a National Health Service," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 13(4), pages 447-466, August.
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    7. Matthias Staat, 2006. "Efficiency of hospitals in Germany: a DEA-bootstrap approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(19), pages 2255-2263.
    8. Michael D. Rosko, 2001. "Cost efficiency of US hospitals: a stochastic frontier approach," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(6), pages 539-551.
    9. David Parkin & Bruce Hollingsworth, 1997. "Measuring production efficiency of acute hospitals in Scotland, 1991-94: validity issues in data envelopment analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(11), pages 1425-1433.
    10. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Breyer, Friedrich, 1987. "The specification of a hospital cost function : A comment on the recent literature," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 147-157, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sami Chaabouni & Chokri Abednnadher, 2016. "Cost Efficiency of Tunisian Public Hospitals: a Bayesian Comparison of Random and Fixed Frontier Models," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 7(3), pages 771-781, September.
    2. Cláudia Araújo & Carlos Barros & Peter Wanke, 2014. "Efficiency determinants and capacity issues in Brazilian for-profit hospitals," Health Care Management Science, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 126-138, June.

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