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The Labor Supply of Nurses and Nursing Assistants in the United States

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  • John P. Burkett

    () (University of Rhode Island)

Abstract

Health care administrators and public policy makers are currently much concerned with the labor supply of nurses and nursing assistants. Hospitals and nursing homes, complaining of labor shortages, request public assistance to enable them to pay higher wages. Before committing public funds, policy makers want up-to-date estimates of the wage elasticities of labor supply for nurses and nursing assistants. Constructing a framework within which these elasticities can be estimated requires consideration of the nature and possible origins of the reported shortages. Based on annual time-series data for the US, 1988-2002, the study has derived posterior distributions for short- and long-run own wage elasticities of labor supply by Registered Nurses (RN) and nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants (NAOA). This analysis suggests that increased public assistance to health care providers, designed to raise wages, probably would not reduce reported shortages arising from monopsony power but would nonetheless appreciably increase employment of RNs and NAOAs.

Suggested Citation

  • John P. Burkett, 2005. "The Labor Supply of Nurses and Nursing Assistants in the United States," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 585-599, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:31:y:2005:i:4:p:585-599
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Reagan Baughman & Kristin Smith, 2007. "The labor market for direct care workers," New England Public Policy Center Working Paper 07-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    3. 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.
    4. Cort├ęs, Patricia & Pan, Jessica, 2014. "Foreign nurse importation and the supply of native nurses," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 164-180.

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