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Journal Articles Social Science & Medicine Year : 2018

Is there a ‘pig cycle’ in the labour supply of doctors? How training and immigration policies respond to physician shortages

Abstract

Many OECD countries are faced with the considerable challenge of a physician shortage. This paper investigates the strategies that OECD governments adopt and determines whether these policies effectively address these medical shortages. Due to the amount of time medical training requires, it takes longer for an expansion in medical school capacity to have an effect than the recruitment of foreign-trained physicians. Using data obtained from the OECD (2014) and Bhargava et al. (2011), we constructed a unique country-level panel dataset that includes annual data for 17 OECD countries on physician shortages, the number of medical school graduates and immigration and emigration rates from 1991 to 2004. By calculating panel fixed-effect estimates, we find that after a period of medical shortages, OECD governments produce more medical graduates in the long run but in the short term, they primarily recruit from abroad; however, at the same time, certain practising physicians choose to emigrate. Simulation results show the limits of recruiting only abroad in the long term but also highlight its appropriateness for the short term when there is a recurrent cycle of shortages/surpluses in the labour supply of physicians (pig cycle theory).
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Dates and versions

hal-01793451 , version 1 (18-12-2018)

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Xavier Chojnicki, Yasser Moullan. Is there a ‘pig cycle’ in the labour supply of doctors? How training and immigration policies respond to physician shortages. Social Science & Medicine, 2018, 200, pp.227-237. ⟨10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.01.038⟩. ⟨hal-01793451⟩
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