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Addressing nurse shortages: what can policy makers learn from the econometric evidence on nurse labour supply?

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  • Michael A. Shields

Abstract

This paper provides a detailed review of the international studies that have used formal econometric models to investigate the labour supply decision of Registered Nurses (RNs). The main finding is that, at least in the short-run, RN labour supply appears to be fairly unresponsive to wage changes. Consequently, even large wage increases are unlikely to be successful in tackling current and predicted nurse shortages. This finding points to the importance of non-pecuniary job aspects in influencing labour supply. However, the paper concludes by arguing that these empirical findings should be viewed with some caution given both theoretical and econometric limitations. Copyright 2004 Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Addressing nurse shortages: what can policy makers learn from the econometric evidence on nurse labour supply?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(499), pages 464-498, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:114:y:2004:i:499:p:f464-f498
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    Cited by:

    1. F. Barigozzi & N. Burani & D. Raggi, 2013. "The Lemons Problem in a Labor Market with Intrinsic Motivation. When Higher Salaries Pay Worse Workers," Working Papers wp883, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    2. Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2004. "To Teach or not to Teach? Panel Data Evidence on the Quitting Decision," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 916, The University of Melbourne.
    3. Pieter Serneels & Abigail Barr, 2005. "Understanding Geographical Imbalances in the Health Workforce," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-018, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Di Tommaso, M.L. & Strøm, S. & Sæther, E.M., 2009. "Nurses wanted: Is the job too harsh or is the wage too low?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 748-757, May.
    5. Barbara McPake & Anthony Scott & Ijeoma Edoka, 2014. "Analyzing Markets for Health Workers : Insights from Labor and Health Economics," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 18780.
    6. Hanel, Barbara & Kalb, Guyonne & Scott, Anthony, 2014. "Nurses’ labour supply elasticities: The importance of accounting for extensive margins," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 94-112.
    7. Barbara Eberth & Robert F. Elliott & Diane Skåtun, 2016. "Pay or conditions? The role of workplace characteristics in nurses’ labor supply," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(6), pages 771-785, July.
    8. Michelle Cunich & Stephen Whelan, 2010. "Nurse Education and the Retention of Registered Nurses in New South Wales," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(274), pages 396-413, September.
    9. Francesca Barigozzi & Gilberto Turati, 2009. "Human Health Care and Selection Effects. Understanding Labour Supply in the Market for Nurses," CHILD Working Papers wp18_09, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
    10. repec:eee:regeco:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:148-159 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. T. Kankaanranta & P. Rissanen, 2009. "The labor supply of registered nurses in Finland: the effect of wages and working conditions," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 10(2), pages 167-178, May.
    12. Schweri, Juerg & Hartog, Joop, 2014. "Do wage expectations influence the decision to enroll in nursing college?," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100542, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Serneels, Pieter & Lindelow, Magnus & Garcia-Montalvo, Jose & Barr, Abigail, 2005. "For public service or money : understanding geographical imbalances in the health workforce," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3686, The World Bank.
    14. Ann Issac & Nirmalya Syam, 2010. "Migration of Health Care Professionals from India: A Case Study of Nurses," Working Papers id:2403, eSocialSciences.
    15. Elliott, Robert F. & Ma, Ada H.Y. & Scott, Anthony & Bell, David & Roberts, Elizabeth, 2007. "Geographically differentiated pay in the labour market for nurses," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 190-212, January.
    16. Cortes, Patricia & Pan, Jessica, 2014. "Foreign nurse importation to the United States and the supply of native registered nurses," Working Papers 14-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    17. T. Kankaanranta & P. Rissanen, 2008. "Nurses’ intentions to leave nursing in Finland," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 9(4), pages 333-342, November.
    18. Long Mark C & Goldfarb Marsha G. & Goldfarb Robert S, 2008. "Explanations for Persistent Nursing Shortages," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-37, November.
    19. Stefanie Schurer & Jongsay Yong, 2010. "Personality, Well-being and Heterogeneous Valuations of Income and Work," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2010n14, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    20. Cortés, Patricia & Pan, Jessica, 2014. "Foreign nurse importation and the supply of native nurses," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 164-180.
    21. repec:spr:empeco:v:52:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1116-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Barigozzi, Francesca & Raggi, Davide, 2013. "The Lemons Problem in a Labor Market with Intrinsic Motivation," AICCON Working Papers 123-2013, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.

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