Essays on Labor and Health Economics

Stuti Jha, Purdue University


I study the labor market outcomes of physicians in the US healthcare market. Specifically, my thesis focuses on the outcomes of different groups of physicians who are likely to face adverse labor market conditions. In the first chapter I study the gender wage gap of self-employed physicians in the USA. The data from CTS Physicians survey show that self-employed female physicians earn 16% less than self-employed male physicians, but no such difference exists in the salaried sector. I develop a model of simultaneous wage determination in private practice and salaried sector in the presence of customer discrimination. The model predicts that female physicians charge lower price than male physicians if there is customer discrimination in the market. The model also predicts adverse selection among male physicians in the hospital sector. Only the very low ability male physicians will work for hospitals who are then subsidized by high ability female physicians. In the second chapter I analyze the labor market outcome of foreign medical graduates (FMGs) in the US. I look at the institutional bottlenecks these physicians face to enter the US and its impact on their labor market outcome. Since all physicians have to undergo residency training to become licensed practitioners, I model the search behavior of hospitals and applicants participating in the National Residency Match Program to explain the over representation of FMGs in the primary care field. My model predicts that the probability of match for the two groups of physicians depends upon the precision of signals the hospitals receive and the weight different specialty programs place on different ability parameters of applicants.




Mumford, Purdue University.

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