Quantifying the effects of modelling choices on hospital efficiency measures: A meta-regression analysis
It has often been argued that the results of efficiency analyses in health care are influenced by the modelling choices made by the researchers involved. In this paper we use meta-regression analysis in an attempt to quantify the degree to which modelling factors influence efficiency estimates. The data set is derived from 253 estimated models reported in 95 empirical analyses of hospital efficiency in the 22-year period from 1987 to 2008. A meta-regression model is used to investigate the degree to which differences in mean efficiency estimates can be explained by factors such as: sample size; dimension (number of variables); parametric versus non-parametric method; returns to scale (RTS) assumptions; functional form; error distributional form; input versus output orientation; cost versus technical efficiency measure; and cross-sectional versus panel data. Sample size, dimension and RTS are found to have statistically significant effects at the 1% level. Sample size has a negative (and diminishing) effect on efficiency; dimension has a positive (and diminishing) effect; while the imposition of constant returns to scale has a negative effect. These results can be used in improving the policy relevance of the empirical results produced by hospital efficiency studies.
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