For Public Service or Money: Understanding Geographical Imbalances in the Health Workforce
35 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2005
Date Written: August 2005
Geographical imbalances in the health workforce have been a consistent feature of nearly all health systems, and especially in developing countries. In this paper we investigate the willingness to work in a rural area among final year nursing and medical students in Ethiopia. Analyzing data obtained from contingent valuation questions, we find that household consumption and the student's motivation to help the poor, which is our proxy for intrinsic motivation, are the main determinants of willingness to work in a rural area. We investigate who are willing to help the poor and find that women are significantly more likely to help than men. Other variables, including a rich set of psycho-social characteristics, are not significant. Finally, we carry out some simulations on how much it would cost to make the entire cohort of starting nurses and doctors choose to take up a rural post.
Keywords: health care delivery, health workers, labour supply, public service
JEL Classification: D1, J22, J64
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation