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This paper examines the earnings differentials among hospital workers in the public, private nonprofit, and private for-profit sectors. Utilizing data from the 1995 through 2007 Current Population Surveys, unadjusted earnings are highest in the private nonprofit sector and lowest in private for-profit firms. Once measurable characteristics are accounted for, health practitioners in for-profit and nonprofit hospitals earn similar wages while public sector workers earn small but significant wage penalties. Nonprofit hospitals tend to attract workers with higher levels of skill as measured by schooling and potential experience. This could be explained in part by worker sorting and lower cost containment incentives in nonprofit hospitals. Wage change analysis using pooled 2-year panels constructed from the CPS indicate no significant differences in earnings between the three sectors of employment. Whatever the role of the sector of employment on the overall earnings of hospital workers, there is sufficient worker mobility within the industry to largely eliminate systematic wage differences across type of hospital.




Springer Verlag

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Journal of Labor Research