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Labour Supply, Work Effort and Contract Choice: Theory and Evidence on Physicians

Listed author(s):
  • Bernard Fortin
  • Nicolas Jacquemet
  • Bruce Shearer

We develop and estimate a generalized labour supply model that incorporates work effort into the standard consumption-leisure trade-off. We allow workers a choice between two contracts: a piece rate contract, wherein he is paid per unit of service provided, and a mixed contract, wherein he receives an hourly wage and a reduced piece rate. This setting gives rise to a non-convex budget set and an efficient budget constraint (the upper envelope of contract-specific budget sets). We apply our model to data collected on specialist physicians working in the Province of Quebec (Canada). Our data set contains information on each physician’s labour supply and their work effort (clinical services provided per hour worked). It also covers a period of policy reform under which physicians could choose between two compensation systems: the traditional fee-for-service, under which physicians receive a fee for each service provided, and mixed remuneration, under which physicians receive a per diem as well as a reduced fee-for-service. We estimate the model using a discrete choice approach. We use our estimates to simulate elasticities and the effects of ex ante reforms on physician contracts. Our results show that physician services and effort are much more sensitive to contractual changes than is their time spent at work. Our results also suggest that a mandatory reform, forcing all physicians to adopt the mixed remuneration system, would have had substantially larger effects on physician behaviour than those observed under the voluntary reform.

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Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 1034.

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Date of creation: 2010
Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1034
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  1. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1995. "Estimating labour supply responses using tax reforms," IFS Working Papers W95/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Paarsch, Harry J & Shearer, Bruce, 2000. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages, and Incentive Effects: Statistical Evidence from Payroll Records," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(1), pages 59-92, February.
  3. Jeremy Lise & Shannon Seitz & Jeffrey Smith, 2005. "Equilibrium Policy Experiments and the Evaluation of Social Programs," Working Papers 1076, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. Paarsch, Harry J. & Shearer, Bruce S., 2009. "The response to incentives and contractual efficiency: Evidence from a field experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 481-494, July.
  5. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 279-288, Part II, .
  6. M. Keane & R. Moffitt, "undated". "A structural model of multiple welfare program participation and labor supply," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1080-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  7. Baltagi, Badi H. & Bratberg, Espen & Holmås, Tor Helge, 2003. "A panel data study of physicians’ labor supply: The case of Norway," Working Papers in Economics 01/03, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  8. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  9. Bolduc, Denis & Fortin, Bernard & Fournier, Marc-Andre, 1996. "The Effect of Incentive Policies on the Practice Location of Doctors: A Multinomial Probit Analysis," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(4), pages 703-732, October.
  10. Adam Copeland & Cyril Monnet, 2003. "The welfare effects of incentive schemes," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-08, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Etienne Dumont & Bernard Fortin & Nicolas Jacquemet & Bruce S. Shearer, 2008. "Physicians' Multitasking and Incentives: Empirical Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CIRANO Working Papers 2008s-20, CIRANO.
  12. Edlefsen, Lee E., 1983. "The signs of compensated price effects in quantity/quality models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-6.
  13. Christopher Ferrall & Bruce Shearer, 1999. "Incentives and Transactions Costs Within the Firm: Estimating an Agency Model Using Payroll Records," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 309-338.
  14. Zabalza, A. & Pissarides, C. & Barton, M., 1980. "Social security and the choice between full-time work, part-time work and retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 245-276, October.
  15. Dickinson, David L, 1999. "An Experimental Examination of Labor Supply and Work Intensities," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 638-670, October.
  16. Bernard Fortin & Nicolas Jacquemet & Bruce Shearer, 2008. "Policy Analysis in the Health-Services Market: Accounting for Quality and Quantity," Cahiers de recherche 0807, CIRPEE.
  17. Gourieroux, Christian & Monfort, Alain, 1993. "Simulation-based inference : A survey with special reference to panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1-2), pages 5-33, September.
  18. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-90-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. repec:adr:anecst:y:2008:i:91-92:p:13 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Showalter, Mark H. & Thurston, Norman K., 1997. "Taxes and labor supply of high-income physicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 73-97, October.
  21. Devlin, Rose Anne & Sarma, Sisira, 2008. "Do physician remuneration schemes matter? The case of Canadian family physicians," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1168-1181, September.
  22. Thomas MaCurdy & David Green & Harry Paarsch, 1990. "Assessing Empirical Approaches for Analyzing Taxes and Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(3), pages 415-490.
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