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Market structure and hospital efficiency: Evaluating potential effects of deregulation in a national health service
Dalmau, Eulàlia; Puig, Jaume
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
In this article we examine the potential effect of market structureon hospital technical efficiency as a measure of performance controlled byownership and regulation. This study is relevant to provide an evaluationof the potential effects of recommended and initiated deregulation policiesin order to promote market reforms in the context of a European NationalHealth Service. Our goal was reached through three main empirical stages.Firstly, using patient origin data from hospitals in the region of Cataloniain 1990, we estimated geographic hospital markets through the Elzinga--Hogartyapproach, based on patient flows. Then we measured the market level ofconcentration using the Herfindahl--Hirschman index. Secondly, technicaland scale efficiency scores for each hospital was obtained specifying aData Envelopment Analysis. According to the data nearly two--thirds of thehospitals operate under the production frontier with an average efficiencyscore of 0.841. Finally, the determinants of the efficiency scores wereinvestigated using a censored regression model. Special attention waspaid to test the hypothesis that there is an efficiency improvement in morecompetitive markets. The results suggest that the number of competitors inthe market contributes positively to technical efficiency and there is someevidence that the differences in efficiency scores are attributed toseveral environmental factors such as ownership, market structure andregulation effects.
Labour, Public, Development and Health Economics
geographic markets
market concentration
technical efficiency
data envelopment analysis
censored regression model
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