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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details

Doiron, D. & Yoo, H.I. (2017). Temporal stability of stated preferences: the case of junior nursing jobs. Health Economics 26(6): 802-809.

Author(s) from Durham


With the growing use of discrete choice experiments (DCEs) in health workforce research, the reliability of elicited job preferences is a growing concern. We provide the first empirical evidence on the temporal stability of such preferences using a unique longitudinal survey of Australian nursing students and graduate nurses. The respondents completed DCEs on nursing positions in two survey waves. Each position is described by salary and 11 non-salary attributes, and the two waves are spaced 15months apart on average. Between the waves, most final-year students finished their degrees and started out as graduate nurses. Thus, the survey covers a long timespan that includes an important period of career transition. The relative importance of different job attributes appears stable enough to support the use of DCEs to identify key areas of policy intervention. There is virtually no change in the groupings of influential job characteristics. Conclusions regarding the stability of willingness-to-pay, however, are different because of unstable preferences for salary. The instability of preferences for salary was also found previously in the context of comparing alternative elicitation methods. This prompts us to push for further work on the reliability of stated preferences over monetary attributes.