Spatial wage theory suggests that employers in different regions may offer different pay rates to reflect local amenities and cost of living. Higher wages may be required to compensate for a less pleasant environment or a higher cost of living. If wages in a competing sector within an area are less flexible and therefore less competitive this may lead to an inability to employ staff. This paper considers the market for nursing staff in France where there is general regulation of wages and public hospitals compete for staff with the private hospital and non-hospital sectors. We consider two types of nursing staff, registered and assistant nurses and first establish the degree of spatial variation in the competitiveness of pay of nurses in public hospitals. We then consider whether these spatial variations are associated with variation in the employment of nursing staff. We find that despite regulation of pay in the public and private sector, there are substantial local variations in the competitiveness of nurses’ pay. We find evidence that the spatial variations in the competitiveness of pay are associated with relative numbers of assistant nurses but not registered nurses. While we find the influence of the competitiveness of pay is small, it suggests that nonpay conditions may be an important factor in adjusting the labour market as might be expected in such a regulated market.
- Local pay
- Nursing labour supply
- Nursing shortage
- Standardised spatial wage differentials
- Wage regulation