Discussion Paper 34

Output and productivity growth in the healthcare sector: a study of four European countries

Antonia Hüttl1, Matilde Mas2, Agnes Nagy1, Mary O’Mahony3, Erika Schulz4 and Lucy Stokes5

Kopint‐Tárki Konjunktúrakutató Intézet Zrt (TARKI), Budapest, Hungary
Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas (IVIE), Valencia, Spain
Birmingham Business School (BHAM), Birmingham, UK
Deutsches Institut fuer Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW), Berlin, Germany
National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), London



This research compares output and productivity across healthcare sectors in four European countries, Germany, Hungary, Spain and the United Kingdom. Systems of health care provision vary across the countries. In the UK and Spain most health care relies largely on public funding and public provision, although the prevalence of private hospitals is greater in Spain. The German system is one of universal insurance coverage with a mix of public and private providers. Following the collapse of the Communist regime, Hungary has moved from a wholly state controlled system to one that is close to the German approach. Through measuring both hospital and non-hospital outputs, and comparing with inputs used, the research can highlight aspects of cross country variation in terms of who is treated, types of treatments and resources employed.

The next section briefly discusses the methodology employed – more detail is provided in earlier companion papers, Hüttl et al. (2011). We then discuss data availability and some of the issues that arose in trying to populate the database. This is followed by a discussion of the results and some conclusions on the feasibility of carrying out international comparisons of performance in healthcare sectors.


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Output and productivity growth in the healthcare sector: a study of four European countries

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This project is funded by the European Commission, Research Directorate General as part of the 7th Framework Programme, Theme 8: Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities.

Grant Agreement no:244 709

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