The economic determinants of specialty choice by medical residents

J Health Econ. 1990 Nov;9(3):335-57. doi: 10.1016/0167-6296(90)90050-d.


This paper analyzes how economic factors (relative expected earnings, relative expected hours worked, and relative length of training period) affect the distribution of medical residents across specialties. The results show that the percent of residents in a given specialty changes more than proportionately when relative hours change (hours elasticities averaged between -1.2 and -2.0) and less than proportionately when relative earnings change (earnings elasticities averaged between 0.3 and 0.6). Residents appear to be quite unresponsive to changes in the length of training period.

MeSH terms

  • Career Choice*
  • Health Workforce*
  • Income / statistics & numerical data
  • Internship and Residency / statistics & numerical data*
  • Medicine / statistics & numerical data
  • Models, Statistical
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits
  • Specialization*
  • Time Factors
  • United States