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Publication selection in health policy research: the winner's curse hypothesis

Costa-Font, Joan ORCID: 0000-0001-7174-7919, McGuire, Alistair and Stanley, Tom (2013) Publication selection in health policy research: the winner's curse hypothesis. Health Policy, 109 (1). pp. 78-87. ISSN 0168-8510

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2012.10.015


There is a widely discussed problem of publication bias in medical and health services research. Where quantitative effects form the basis of a publication a ‘winner's curse’ curse may apply. This phenomenon may occur as prospective authors of research papers compete by reporting ‘more extreme and spectacular results’ in order to increase the chances of their paper being accepted for publication. This paper examines this phenomenon using quantitative findings on income and price elasticities as reported in health economics research. We find robust statistical evidence that higher-impact journals preferentially report larger empirical estimates of these elasticities. That is, we find robust evidence of a winner's curse hypothesis contributing to the existence of publication bias found in both the income and the price elasticities of health care and drugs, as well as value of life research.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Elsevier Ireland
Divisions: European Institute
Social Policy
Centre for Economic Performance
LSE Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2012 14:10
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:36

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