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

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Abstract

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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