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Well-Paid Nurses are Good Nurses

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  • Alessandro Fedele

    () (Free University of Bolzano‐Bozen, Faculty of Economics and Management)

Abstract

Some recent articles suggest that increasing wage in the nursing market with the aim of reducing shortage may yield a negative effect on the average ability and motivation of applicants attracted and, in turn, on the average quality of care. This finding is at odds with empirical evidence and has been criticized on the grounds that nurses' motivation is modeled in an overly simplistic way. The present paper provides a novel theoretical framework where the orientation of nurses' motivation - intrinsic versus extrinsic - is taken into account, and the precise distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is delineated on the basis of self-determination and person-environment fit theories. Findings show that high wages attract able and motivated individuals, thus maximizing the average quality of care. This result reconciles theory with evidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Fedele, 2015. "Well-Paid Nurses are Good Nurses," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS24, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
  • Handle: RePEc:bzn:wpaper:bemps24
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    File URL: http://pro1.unibz.it/projects/economics/repec/bemps24.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Taylor, Lowell J., 2007. "Optimal wages in the market for nurses: An analysis based on Heyes' model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 1027-1030, September.
    2. Heyes, Anthony, 2005. "The economics of vocation or 'why is a badly paid nurse a good nurse'?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 561-569, May.
    3. Valerie Adams & Rhonda Sharp, 2013. "Reciprocity in Caring Labor: Nurses’ Work in Residential Aged Care in Australia," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 100-121, April.
    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. Valerie Adams & Julie Nelson, 2009. "The Economics of Nursing: Articulating Care," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4), pages 3-29.
    6. Chiha, Yvana A. & Link, Charles R., 2003. "The shortage of registered nurses and some new estimates of the effects of wages on registered nurses labor supply: a look at the past and a preview of the 21st century," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 349-375, June.
    7. James Buchan & Steven Black, 2011. "The Impact of Pay Increases on Nurses' Labour Market: A Review of Evidence from Four OECD Countries," OECD Health Working Papers 57, OECD Publishing.
    8. Nancy Folbre, 1995. ""Holding hands at midnight": The paradox of caring labor," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 73-92.
    9. Buhr, Karen J., 2009. "An economic analysis of the job search decisions for Canadian nurses," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 129-137, January.
    10. Francesca Barigozzi & Gilberto Turati, 2012. "Human health care and selection effects. Understanding labor supply in the market for nursing1," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(4), pages 477-483, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nurses' wage; nurses' ability; nurses' motivation; quality of care; self-determination and person-environment fit theories;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines

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