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Nurses Wanted: Is the Job Too Hars or is the Wage Too Low

  • Di Tommaso, M. L.


    (University of Turin)

  • Strøm, Steinar


    (University of Turin)

  • Sæther, Erik Magnus



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 multisector-job-type random utility model of labor supply on data for Norwegian registered nurses in 2000. The empirical model implies that labor supply is rather inelastic; 10 percent increase in the wage rates for all nurses is estimated to yield 3.3 percent 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 labour 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 lower wage than the current one.

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Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 08/2008.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 27 Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2008_008
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
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  1. Joseph G. Altonji & Christina H. Paxson, 1987. "Labor Supply Preferences, Hours Constraints, and Hours-Wage Tradeoffs," NBER Working Papers 2121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kostiuk, Peter F, 1990. "Compensating Differentials for Shift Work," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1054-75, October.
  3. 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.
  4. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb & Rosanna Scutella, 2003. "Discrete Hours Labour Supply Modelling: Specification, Estimation and Simulation," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n21, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  5. Phillips, V. L., 1995. "Nurses' labor supply: Participation, hours of work, and discontinuities in the supply function," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 567-582, December.
  6. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521766555.
  7. Roed,K. & Strom,S., 1999. "Progressive taxes and the labour market : is the trade-off between equality and efficiency inevitable?," Memorandum 19/1999, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  8. John K. Dagsvik & Steinar Strøm, 2004. "Sectoral Labor Supply, Choice Restrictions and Functional Form," Discussion Papers 388, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  9. 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.
  10. Lanfranchi, Joseph & Ohlsson, Henry & Skalli, Ali, 2001. "COMPENSATING WAGE DIFFERENTIALS AND SHIFT WORK PREFERENCES. Evidence from France," Working Papers in Economics 55, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  11. repec:oup:restud:v:72:y:2005:i:1:p:57-76 is not listed on IDEAS
  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. 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.
  14. Paul van den Noord & Terje Hagen & Tor Iversen, 1998. "The Norwegian Health Care System," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 198, OECD Publishing.
  15. Dagsvik, John K. & Locatelli, Marilena & Strøm, Steinar, 2006. "Simulating labor supply behavior when workers have preferences for job opportunities and face nonlinear budget constraints," Memorandum 20/2006, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  16. Tor Helge Holmås, 2002. "Keeping nurses at work: a duration analysis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 493-503.
  17. 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..
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