"A built bed is a filled bed?" An empirical re-examination

E. K.A. van Doorslaer*, R. C.J.A. van Vliet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This article provides an empirical re-examination of the relationship between regional hospital bed supply and the utilization of hospital care. It tests the hypothesis that the divergence of findings between studies based on micro-data (at the individual level) and those based on macro-data (at the regional level) is due to aggregation and specification bias. The main conclusion is that neither source of bias can account for the observed differences. Some other possible explanations are put forward. Regardless of the level of aggregation, a positive effect is found of bed supply on length of hospital stay but not on admission rates. This may be the result of major changes which have taken place in the financing of hospital services in the Netherlands during the last decade.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-164
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1989

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknokled~emenrs-The research reported here was supported in part by a grant from the Dutch health insurance organization ‘Zilveren Kruis’ which also provided the data base. a fact which the authors gratefully acknowledge. We would also like to thank an anonymous referee for helpful comments, and Jo& Geurts. Gerard van de Kuilen and Jan van Dalen for their skillful assistance with the computer programming.


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