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The Effect of Shift Structure on Performance

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Author Info

  • Tanguy Brachet
  • Guy David
  • Andrea M. Drechsler

Abstract

The effect of shift structure on worker performance and productivity is of increasing interest to firms and regulatory bodies. Using approximately 743,000 emergency medical incidents attended by 2,381 paramedics in Mississippi, we evaluate the extent that paramedics' performance toward the end of shifts is impacted by shift length. We find evidence that performance deteriorates toward the end of long shifts, and argue that fatigue is the mediating factor. Our calculations imply that such deterioration may result in a 0.76 percent increase in 30-day mortality. These findings have implications for workforce organization, calling attention to regulation designed to limit extended work hours. (JEL J22, J24, J28, J45, M12)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 219-46

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:219-46

Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.4.2.219
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  1. Tanguy Brachet & Guy David & Andrea M. Drechsler, 2012. "The Effect of Shift Structure on Performance," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 219-46, April.
  2. Kostiuk, Peter F, 1990. "Compensating Differentials for Shift Work," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1054-75, October.
  3. Freeman, Richard B, 1997. "Working for Nothing: The Supply of Volunteer Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages S140-66, January.
  4. Lanfranchi, Joseph & Ohlsson, Henry & Skalli, Ali, 2001. "COMPENSATING WAGE DIFFERENTIALS AND SHIFT WORK PREFERENCES. Evidence from France," Working Papers in Economics, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics 55, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  5. Edward P. Lazear, 1991. "Labor Economics and the Psychology of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 89-110, Spring.
  6. Elizabeth Ty Wilde, 2013. "Do Emergency Medical System Response Times Matter For Health Outcomes?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 790-806, 07.
  7. Powell, James L., 1984. "Least absolute deviations estimation for the censored regression model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 303-325, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Tanguy Brachet & Guy David & Andrea M. Drechsler, 2012. "The Effect of Shift Structure on Performance," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 219-46, April.

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