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

Author

Listed:
  • Tanguy Brachet
  • Guy David
  • Reena Duseja

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Tanguy Brachet & Guy David & Reena Duseja, 2010. "The Effect of Shift Structure on Performance: The Role of Fatigue for Paramedics," NBER Working Papers 16418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16418
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lanfranchi, Joseph & Ohlsson, Henry & Skalli, Ali, 2002. "Compensating wage differentials and shift work preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 393-398, February.
    2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
    3. Lanfranchi, Joseph & Ohlsson, Henry & Skalli, Ali, 2002. "Compensating wage differentials and shift work preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 393-398, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elizabeth Ty Wilde, 2013. "Do Emergency Medical System Response Times Matter For Health Outcomes?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 790-806, July.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J80 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - General
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

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