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Human Capital and Organizational Performance: Evidence from the Healthcare Sector

Author

Listed:
  • Ann P. Bartel
  • Ciaran S. Phibbs
  • Nancy Beaulieu
  • Patricia Stone

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ann P. Bartel & Ciaran S. Phibbs & Nancy Beaulieu & Patricia Stone, 2011. "Human Capital and Organizational Performance: Evidence from the Healthcare Sector," NBER Working Papers 17474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17474
    Note: HC LS
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17474.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nathalie Greenan & Pierre-Jean Messe, 2014. "Transmission of vocational skills at the end of career: horizon effect and technological or organisational change," Working Papers halshs-01143496, HAL.
    2. Benson, Alan, 2013. "Firm-sponsored general education and mobility frictions: Evidence from hospital sponsorship of nursing schools and faculty," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 149-159.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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