The Quality of Hospital Services: An Analysis of Geographic Variation and Intertemporal Change

  • Martin S. Feldstein
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)


In studying the operation of any nation’s health care system, it is useful to have an economic measure of the quality of care that is provided at different times and places. This paper discusses the conceptual problems of defining an aggregate quality index and develops the formulae required to make this operation. A price index for hospitals’ non-labor inputs is constructed, using weights based on the 1963 United States input-output study. The substantial and persistent variation in the overall price of inputs is then analyzed with a cross-section of time-series data. The same sample is then used to examine the intertemporal change and geographic variation in the quality of hospital services.


Price Index Hospital Service Input Price Indifference Curve Resource Input 
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Copyright information

© The International Economic Association 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin S. Feldstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard UniversityUSA

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