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The Effect of Shift Structure on Performance: The Role of Fatigue for Paramedics

  • Tanguy Brachet
  • Guy David
  • Reena Duseja

The effect of shift structure on worker performance and productivity is an issue of increasing interest to firms and regulatory bodies. Using approximately 742,000 emergency medical incidents attended by 2,400 paramedics in the state of Mississippi, we evaluate the extent to which paramedics' performance towards the end of their shift is impacted by its length. We find evidence that their performance deteriorates towards the end of long shifts, and argue that fatigue is the mediating factor. These findings have implications for workforce organization, calling attention to regulation designed to limit extended work hours.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16418.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16418.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16418
Note: HC HE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. 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.
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