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Human Capital and Organizational Performance: Evidence from the Healthcare Sector

  • Ann P. Bartel
  • Ciaran S. Phibbs
  • Nancy Beaulieu
  • Patricia Stone
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    This paper contributes to the literature on the relationship between human capital and organizational performance. We use detailed longitudinal monthly data on nursing units in the Veterans Administration hospital system to identify how the human capital (general, hospital-specific and unit or team-specific) of the nursing team on the unit affects patients' outcomes. Since we use monthly, not annual, data, we are able to avoid the omitted variable bias and endogeneity bias that could result when annual data are used. Nurse staffing levels, general human capital, and unit-specific human capital have positive and significant effects on patient outcomes while the use of contract nurses, who have less specific capital than regular staff nurses, negatively impacts patient outcomes. Policies that would increase the specific human capital of the nursing staff are found to be cost-effective.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17474.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17474.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2011
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    Publication status: published as “Human Capital and Productivity in a Team Environment: Evidence from the Healthcare Sector” (with Nancy Beaulieu, Ciaran Phibbs and Patricia Stone), American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, April 2014.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17474
    Note: HC LS
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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