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Productive innovations in hospitals: an empirical research on the relation between technology and productivity in the Dutch hospital industry

  • Jos L. T. Blank

    (Institute for Public Sector Efficiency Studies, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands)

  • Bart L. Van Hulst

    (Department of Labour and Social Policy, ECORYS-NEI, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

This paper studies the relationship between technology and productivity in Dutch hospitals. In most studies technical change is measured by a proxy, namely a time trend. In practice however, innovations slowly spread over all hospitals and so different hospitals are operating under different technologies at the same point in time. In this study we explicitly inventory specific and well-known innovations in the Dutch hospital industry in the past ten years. These innovations are aggregated into a limited number of homogenous innovation clusters, which are measured by a set of technology index numbers. The index numbers are included in the cost function specification and estimation. The results indicate that technical change is non-neutral and output- biased and that some technologies affect cost in beneficial ways. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2009)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 665-679

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:18:y:2009:i:6:p:665-679
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  1. Gillian McCallion & J. Colin Glass & Robert Jackson & Christine Kerr & Donal McKillop, 2000. "Investigating productivity change and hospital size: a nonparametric frontier approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(2), pages 161-174.
  2. Linna, Miika & Hakkinen, Unto & Magnussen, Jon, 2006. "Comparing hospital cost efficiency between Norway and Finland," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 268-278, August.
  3. Spetz, Joanne & Maiuro, Lisa Simonson, 2004. "Measuring levels of technology in hospitals," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 430-447, July.
  4. Blank, Jos L. T. & Vogelaar, Iris, 2004. "Specifying technical change: a research on the nature of technical change in Dutch hospital industry," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 448-463, July.
  5. Diego Prior & Magda Solà, 2000. "Technical efficiency and economies of diversification in health care," Health Care Management Science, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 299-307, September.
  6. Bruce Hollingsworth & P.J. Dawson & N. Maniadakis, 1999. "Efficiency measurement of health care: a review of non‐parametric methods and applications," Health Care Management Science, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 161-172, July.
  7. J.L.T. Blank & A.H.Q.M. Merkies, 2004. "Empirical assessment of the economic behaviour of Dutch general hospitals," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(3), pages 265-280.
  8. Laurence Baker & Joanne Spetz, 1999. "Managed Care and Medical Technology Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Frontiers in Health Policy Research, volume 2, pages 27-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ana Rodr�guez-�lvarez & C. A. Knox Lovell, 2004. "Excess capacity and expense preference behaviour in National Health Systems: an application to the Spanish public hospitals," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(2), pages 157-169.
  10. Baltagi, Badi H & Griffin, James M, 1988. "A General Index of Technical Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 20-41, February.
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