The Labor Market for Direct Care Workers: An Analysis of Employment Spells
Reagan Baughman, University of New Hampshire
Kristin Smith, University of Maryland
The aging of the baby boom cohort is likely to put a significant strain on the market for personal long term care services provided by direct care workers like nursing and home health aides. In fact, many states are already experiencing shortages and high turnover rates that are affecting the quality of patient care. Compared to a relatively large literature devoted to the labor market for RNs, there is little in the way of systematic analysis of the labor market for direct care workers. We use month-level data covering the years 1996 to 2000 from the 1996 Survey of Income and Program Participation to measure employment spells for direct care workers. We will use these spells measures to estimate discrete-time hazard models of the effects of both general work incentive policies (including state-level EITCs) and direct care-targeted policies (including Medicaid wage pass-throughs) on employment durations.