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The economics of vocation or 'why is a badly paid nurse a good nurse'?

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  • Heyes, Anthony

Abstract

Given the longstanding shortage of nurses in many jurisdictions, why couldn’t nursing wages be raised to attract more people into the profession? We tell a story in which the status of nursing as a ‘vocation’ implies that increasing wages reduces the average quality of applicants attracted. The underlying mechanism accords with the notion that increasing wages might attract the ‘wrong sort’ of people into the profession and highlights an (in)e?ciency wage mechanism, particular to vocations, which makes wages sticky upwards. The analysis has implications for job design in vocation-based sectors such as nursing and teaching.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 24 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 561-569

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:24:y:2005:i:3:p:561-569

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Francois, Patrick, 2000. "'Public service motivation' as an argument for government provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 275-299, November.
  2. Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8jd5z5j2, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Relative Wages, Efficiency Wages, and Keynesian Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 383-88, May.
  4. Frey, Bruno S., 1993. "Shirking or work morale? : The impact of regulating," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1523-1532, December.
  5. Yellen, Janet L, 1984. "Efficiency Wage Models of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 200-205, May.
  6. Julie Nelson, 1999. "Of Markets And Martyrs: Is It OK To Pay Well For Care?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 43-59.
  7. Turnipseed, David L., 2002. "Are good soldiers good?: Exploring the link between organization citizenship behavior and personal ethics," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-15, January.
  8. Kreps, David M, 1997. "Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 359-64, May.
  9. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
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