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Productivity, wages and intrinsic motivations

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  • Leonardo Becchetti

    ()

  • Stefano Castriota

    ()

  • Ermanno Tortia

    ()

Abstract

There is a long-standing debate in labour economics on the impact of workers’ intrinsic motivations on equilibrium wages. One direction in economic theory suggests that intrinsically motivated workers are willing to accept lower wages and “donate” work, for example, in terms of unpaid overtime (the donative-labour hypothesis). In the other direction, intrinsic motivations are expected to increase worker productivity and, in turn, wages (the intrinsic motivation-productivity hypothesis). Using a new database of a sample of workers in the cooperative non-profit sector, we find that, consistently with the motivation-productivity hypothesis, more motivated workers earn significantly higher wages, which signals higher productivity. Evidence supporting the donative-labour hypothesis is weaker, even though a generally positive connection between motivations and work-donation is confirmed. We interpret these findings by arguing that the impact of the donative-labour effect is dominated by the intrinsic motivation-productivity effect. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2013

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Small Business Economics.

Volume (Year): 41 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 379-399

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Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:41:y:2013:i:2:p:379-399

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100338

Related research

Keywords: Labor-donation; Intrinsic motivations; Productivity; Wages; Wage differentials; Non-profit; J30; J31; I30; L26;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Fabio Sabatini & Francesca Modena & Ermanno Tortia, 2012. "Do cooperative enterprises create social trust?," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2012_10, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  2. Bruna Bruno & Damiano Fiorillo, 2014. "Voluntary work and wages," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2014/05, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.

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