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The impact of research on hospital costs of care: an empirical study


  • Julia Bonastre
  • Marc Le Vaillant
  • Gerard De Pouvourville


The goal of this study was to examine the impact of research activities on hospital costs and lengths of stay in French public hospitals. Our data consist of a random sample of 30 000 inpatient stays in 38 hospitals that were extracted from the French Hospital Cost Survey database. Hospital characteristics were added using data from a French national survey and performing a bibliometric study. This is a retrospective study of hospitalizations. We used multilevel modelling. We considered separate models to explain the cost per day and the length of hospital stay (LOS). Research output was defined based on the quartiles of the distribution of the number of impact-weighted scientific publications produced in our sample of hospitals over a 6‐year period. Research production was associated with a higher cost of care. The cost per day was 19% higher in hospitals in the 3rd quartile and 42% higher in hospitals in the 4th quartile compared to that in hospitals that were not involved in research activities. This result was sensitive to the type of care under consideration. The effect was stronger in oncology but not significant in routine care. Scientific production did not impact the LOS. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Julia Bonastre & Marc Le Vaillant & Gerard De Pouvourville, 2011. "The impact of research on hospital costs of care: an empirical study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 73-84, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:20:y:2011:i:1:p:73-84

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    Cited by:

    1. Lukas Kwietniewski & Mareike Heimeshoff & Jonas Schreyögg, 2017. "Estimation of a physician practice cost function," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 18(4), pages 481-494, May.
    2. Engin Yilmaz & Denis Raynaud, 2013. "The influence of social deprivation on length of hospitalisation," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 14(2), pages 243-252, April.
    3. García-Romero, Antonio & Escribano, Álvaro & Tribó, Josep A., 2017. "The impact of health research on length of stay in Spanish public hospitals," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 591-604.
    4. Johannessen, Karl Arne & Kittelsen, Sverre A.C. & Hagen, Terje P., 2017. "Assessing physician productivity following Norwegian hospital reform: A panel and data envelopment analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 117-126.


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