OECD Health Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership health studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

English, French

Comparing Hospital and Health Prices and Volumes Internationally

Results of a Eurostat/OECD Project

Health services account for a large and increasing share of production and expenditure in OECD and Eurostat countries but there are also noticeable differences between countries in expenditure per capita. Whether such differences are due to more services being consumed or whether they reflect differences in the price of services is a question of significant policy relevance. Yet, cross-country comparisons of health services have typically not disentangled these effects.

This paper presents the results of a joint effort between OECD and Eurostat in developing price comparisons for health goods and services. The main novel feature is the collection of comparable and output-based prices for hospital services that can then be applied to matching national accounts expenditure data so as to derive consistent price and volume comparisons of health products. The data is novel in that it reflects “quasi prices” (negotiated or administrative prices or tariffs) of the output of hospital services, instead of prices of inputs such as wages of medical personnel. The new methodology moves away from the traditional input perspective, thereby relaxing the assumption that hospital productivity is the same across countries...


JEL: M41: Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics / Accounting and Auditing / Accounting; C43: Mathematical and Quantitative Methods / Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics / Index Numbers and Aggregation; Leading Indicators; I10: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health: General
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