Empirical evidence on the impact of the labour market on the production of healthcare and health

Empirical evidence on the impact of the labour market on the production of healthcare and health

Principal Investigator: Professor Carol Propper

Funder: European Research Council

Duration: October 2018 – September 2022

Abstract

What determines the quality of public services? How do shocks to the economy affect the delivery of public services? Why is there such variation in the efficiency of public service providers and how does this affect those who use their services?

The aim of this project is to fundamentally contribute to our understanding of the labour supply behaviour of public service providers and the impact of their behaviour on the quality and distribution of critical outcomes. To achieve this we will primarily focus on the healthcare sector. The importance of the healthcare sector to social wellbeing, the existence of shocks that create ‘natural’ experiments, and the availability of large administrative datasets makes the healthcare market the ideal test-bed. Further, understanding how labour markets in healthcare operate is crucial for public expenditure and central because society cares about the output produced.

We will adopt two broad approaches. The first is to examine the micro-foundations of behaviour for critical agents. The second is to examine the effect of policy and macro shocks to the economy on the reallocation of labour within, and between, healthcare and other sectors. In all cases my focus is on understanding labour supply responses and how these impact on the level and distribution of critical outcomes in society.

The ideas are applicable to all labour markets characterised by high levels of investment in human capital and where market failures mean society cares about the outcomes. Our research will contribute to the fields of labour and health economics. Our research will also inform the development of policies to increase the uptake and spread of medical innovation, increase the quality of the medical labour force and improve the design of healthcare systems.

Outputs & Impacts

  • Our research will contribute to the fields of labour and health economics
  • Our research will also inform the development of policies to increase the uptake and spread of medical innovation, increase the quality of the medical labour force and improve the design of healthcare systems