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Nurses wanted: Is the job too harsh or is the wage too low?

  • Di Tommaso, M.L.
  • Strøm, S.
  • Sæther, E.M.

When entering the job market, nurses choose among different kind of jobs. Each of these jobs is characterized by wage, sector (primary care or hospital) and shift (daytime work or shift). This paper estimates a multi-sector-job-type random utility model of labor supply on data for Norwegian registered nurses (RNs) in 2000. The empirical model implies that labor supply is rather inelastic; 10% increase in the wage rates for all nurses is estimated to yield 3.3% increase in overall labor supply. This modest response shadows for much stronger inter-job-type responses. Our approach differs from previous studies in two ways: First, to our knowledge, it is the first time that a model of labor supply for nurses is estimated taking explicitly into account the choices that RN's have regarding work place and type of job. Second, it differs from previous studies with respect to the measurement of the compensations for different types of work. So far, it has been focused on wage differentials. But there are more attributes of a job than the wage. Based on the estimated random utility model we therefore calculate the expected value of compensation that makes a utility maximizing agent indifferent between types of jobs, here between shift work and daytime work. It turns out that Norwegian nurses working shifts may be willing to work shift relative to daytime work for a lower wage than the current one.

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

Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 748-757

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:28:y:2009:i:3:p:748-757
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Joseph Altonji & Christina Paxson, 1987. "Labor Supply Preferences, Hours Constraints, and Hours-Wage Tradeoffs," Working Papers 594, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. John K. Dagsvik & Anders Karlstr�m, 2005. "Compensating Variation and Hicksian Choice Probabilities in Random Utility Models that are Nonlinear in Income," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 57-76.
  3. Lanfranchi, Joseph & Ohlsson, Henry & Skalli, Ali, 2002. "Compensating wage differentials and shift work preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 393-398, February.
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  5. Shields, Michael & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie, 2001. "Improving Nurse Retention in the National Health Service in England: The Impact of Job Satisfaction on Intentions to Quit," CEPR Discussion Papers 2806, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb, 2003. "Discrete Hours Labour Supply Modelling: Specification, Estimation and Simulation," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n16, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  9. Jan Erik Askildsen & Badi H. Baltagi & Tor Helge Holmås, 2002. "Will Increased Wages Reduce Shortage of Nurses? A Panel Data Analysis of Nurses' Labor Supply," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 D1-2, International Conferences on Panel Data.
  10. Tor Helge Holmås, 2002. "Keeping nurses at work: a duration analysis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 493-503.
  11. John K. Dagsvik & Marilena Locatelli & Steinar Strøm, 2006. "Simulating labor supply behavior when workers have preferences for job opportunities and face nonlinear budget constraints," Discussion Papers 488, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  12. 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 F464-F498, November.
  13. Roed, Knut & Strom, Steinar, 2002. " Progressive Taxes and the Labour Market: Is the Trade-Off between Equality and Efficiency Inevitable?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 77-110, February.
  14. 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.
  15. Kenneth Train, 2003. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number emetr2, December.
  16. Aaberge, Rolf & Colombino, Ugo & Strom, Steinar, 1999. "Labour Supply in Italy: An Empirical Analysis of Joint Household Decisions, with Taxes and Quantity Constraints," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 403-22, July-Aug..
  17. Kostiuk, Peter F, 1990. "Compensating Differentials for Shift Work," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1054-75, October.
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