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Economies of scale and efficiency measurement in Switzerland's Nursing homes

  • Medhi Farsi

    (Department of Management, Technology and Economics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

  • Massimo Filippini

    (Istituto microeconomia e economia pubblica (MecoP), Facoltà di scienze economiche, Università della Svizzera italiana, Svizzera)

  • Diego Lunati

    ()

    (Istituto microeconomia e economia pubblica (MecoP), Facoltà di scienze economiche, Università della Svizzera italiana, Svizzera)

This paper examines the cost efficiency in the nursing home industry, an issue of concern to Swiss policy makers because of the explosive growth of national expenditure on elderly care and the aging of the population. A stochastic cost frontier model with a translog function has been applied to a balanced panel data of 1780 observations from 356 nursing homes operating over five years (1998-2002) in Switzerland. We compare the estimation results from different panel data econometric techniques focusing on the various methods of specification of unobserved heterogeneity across firms. In particular, the potential effects of such unobserved factors on the estimation results and their interpretation have been discussed. The paper eventually addresses three empirical issues: (1) the measurement of economies of scale in the nursing home sector, (2) the assessment of the economic performance of the firms by estimating their cost efficiency scores, and (3) the role of unobserved heterogeneity in the estimation process. The findings suggest that the economies of scale are an important potential source of cost reduction in a majority of Swiss nursing homes. Taking the size as given the efficiency performance of most individual units is practically very close to the estimated best practice. Nevertheless, the efficiency estimates suggest that some of the nursing homes can significantly reduce their costs by improving their operations.

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File URL: http://doc.rero.ch/lm.php?url=1000,42,6,20080115155617-VI/wp0801.pdf
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Paper provided by USI Università della Svizzera italiana in its series Quaderni della facoltà di Scienze economiche dell'Università di Lugano with number 0801.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lug:wpaper:0801
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.bul.sbu.usi.ch

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  1. Massimo Filippini, 2001. "Economies of scale in the Swiss nursing home industry," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 43-46.
  2. Newhouse, Joseph P., 1994. "Frontier estimation: How useful a tool for health economics?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 317-322, October.
  3. Simar, L. & Wilson, P.W., 1999. "Statistical Inference in Nonparametric Frontier Models: the State of the Art," Papers 9904, Catholique de Louvain - Institut de statistique.
  4. Sherman T. Folland & Richard A. Hofler, 2001. "How reliable are hospital efficiency estimates? Exploiting the dual to homothetic production," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(8), pages 683-698.
  5. Antonio Estache & Tim Coelli & Sergio Perelman & Lourdes Trujillo, 2003. "A Primer on Efficiency Measurement for Utilities and Transport Regulators," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/44106, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. 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.
  7. Mehdi Farsi & Massimo Filippini, 2004. "An Empirical Analysis of Cost Efficiency in Non-profit and Public Nursing Homes," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 75(3), pages 339-365, 09.
  8. Vitaliano, Donald F. & Toren, Mark, 1994. "Cost and efficiency in nursing homes: a stochastic frontier approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 281-300, October.
  9. Hadley, Jack & Zuckerman, Stephen, 1994. "The role of efficiency measurement in hospital rate setting," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 335-340, October.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Mehdi Farsi & Massimo Filippini & Michael Kuenzle, 2005. "Unobserved heterogeneity in stochastic cost frontier models: an application to Swiss nursing homes," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(18), pages 2127-2141.
  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521336017 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Medhi Farsi & Massimo Filippini, 2006. "Effects of ownership, subsidization and teaching activities on hospital costs in Switzerland," Quaderni della facoltà di Scienze economiche dell'Università di Lugano 0606, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
  15. 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.
  16. Greene, William, 2005. "Reconsidering heterogeneity in panel data estimators of the stochastic frontier model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 269-303, June.
  17. 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.
  18. Skinner, Jonathan, 1994. "What do stochastic frontier cost functions tell us about inefficiency?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 323-328, October.
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