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This study examines the significance of quality when included in the specification of a hospital cost function. Also, this research estimates a value for scale economies in order to determine if the average hospital experiences increasing returns to scale in the production of hospital care, verifying such findings in previous econometric studies. Furthermore, two functional forms are compared: the Cobb-Douglas and the translog.
The results of this study demonstrate that quality has a significant impact on costs. This relationship is positive meaning increasing quality will also increase the cost of producing hospital care. The results for scale economies demonstrate that the average hospital experiences increasing returns to scale in the production of hospital care, which is consistent with previous research. Lastly, based on an F-test, this study is able to accept the translog as the appropriate functional form.