Indexed on: 16 Aug '14Published on: 16 Aug '14Published in: Health Economics
This paper seeks to identify the effect of the implementation of the European Working Time Directive on the working hours of UK doctors. The Labour Force Survey is used to compare the working hours of doctors with a variety of control groups before and after the implementation of the directive. The controls include those unconstrained by the directive and doctor counterparts working in Europe. We use differences-in-differences and matching methods to estimate the impact of this natural experiment, distinguishing between the anticipation and enactment of the European Working Time Directive. We find that the legislation reduced the hours of senior doctors by around 8 hours in total including the component attributable to anticipation effects and allowing for (exogenously set) rising wages. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.