Will increased wages increase nurses' working hours in the health care sector?
Many registered nurses (RNs) in Norway work part-time, or in non-health jobs. The nurses’ trade organizations claim that a wage increase will increase the short-term labor supply in health care. This paper is an attempt to identify the effects of job-type specific wage increases through policy simulations on micro data. The individual’s labor supply decision can be considered as a choice from a set of discrete alternatives (job packages). These job packages are characterized by attributes such as hours of work, sector specific wages and other sector specific aspects of the jobs. The unique data set covers all RNs registered in Norway and their families. The spouses’ incomes and age of the children are vital when estimating the labor supply of this profession. For married females the results indicate job type specific wage elasticities for hours of work of 0.17 in hospitals and 0.39 in primary care. The total hours worked in health and non-health jobs are actually predicted to be slightly reduced, but the change is not significantly different from zero. Single females are somewhat more responsive to wage changes than married ones.
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