IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Economies of scale and scope in the provision of diagnostic techniques and therapeutic services in Portuguese hospitals

  • Ricardo Gonçalves


    (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão - Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Porto)

  • Pedro Pita Barros


    (Faculdade de Economia - Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

This paper analyses the provision of auxiliary clinical services that are typically carried out within the hospital. We estimate a flexible cost function for the three most important (cost- wise) diagnostic techniques and therapeutic services in Portuguese hospitals: Clinical Pathology, Medical Imaging and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Our objective in carrying out this estimation is the evaluation of economies of scale and scope in the provision of these services. For all services, we find evidence of ray economies of scale and some evidence of economies of scope. These results have important policy implications and can be related to the ongoing discussion of where and how should hospitals provide these services.

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:
File Function: First version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa in its series Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) with number 04.

in new window

Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cap:wpaper:042009
Contact details of provider: Postal: Rua Diogo Botelho, 1327; 4169 - 005 Porto
Phone: +351 226 196 200
Fax: +351 226 196 291
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Preyra, Colin & Pink, George, 2006. "Scale and scope efficiencies through hospital consolidations," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1049-1068, November.
  2. Vitaliano, Donald F., 1987. "On the estimation of hospital cost functions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 305-318, December.
  3. Annika Herr, 2008. "Cost and technical efficiency of German hospitals: does ownership matter?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(9), pages 1057-1071.
  4. Serge Garcia & Alban Thomas, 2001. "The Structure of Municipal Water Supply Costs: Application to a Panel of French Local Communities," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 5-29, July.
  5. Tong Li & Robert Rosenman, 2001. "Estimating hospital costs with a generalized Leontief function," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(6), pages 523-538.
  6. Grannemann, Thomas W. & Brown, Randall S. & Pauly, Mark V., 1986. "Estimating hospital costs : A multiple-output analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 107-127, June.
  7. Fournier, G.M. & Mitchell. J.M., 1991. "Hospital Costs and Competition for Services : A Multiproduct Analysis," Working Papers 1991_03_6, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  8. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Swanson, Joseph A, 1981. "Productivity Growth, Scale Economies, and Capacity Utilization in U.S. Railroads, 1955-74," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 994-1002, December.
  9. Vita, Michael G., 1990. "Exploring hospital production relationships with flexible functional forms," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-21, June.
  10. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-61, October.
  11. Smet, Mike, 2002. "Cost characteristics of hospitals," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 895-906, September.
  12. Matthias Staat, 2006. "Efficiency of hospitals in Germany: a DEA-bootstrap approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(19), pages 2255-2263.
  13. Giovanni Fraquelli & Massimiliano Piacenza & Davide Vannoni, 2004. "Scope and scale economies in multi-utilities: evidence from gas, water and electricity combinations," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(18), pages 2045-2057.
  14. Braeutigam, Ronald R. & Daughety, Andrew F., 1983. "On the estimation of returns to scale using variable cost functions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-2), pages 25-31.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cap:wpaper:042009. 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: (Ricardo Goncalves)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.