Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Strengthening State Capabilities: The Role of Financial Incentives in the Call to Public Service

Contents:

Author Info

  • Ernesto Dal Bó
  • Frederico Finan
  • Martín A. Rossi

Abstract

We study a recent recruitment drive for public sector positions in Mexico. Different salaries were announced randomly across recruitment sites, and job offers were subsequently randomized. Screening relied on exams designed to measure applicants' intellectual ability, personality, and motivation. This allows the first experimental estimates of (1) the role of financial incentives in attracting a larger and more qualified pool of applicants, (2) the elasticity of the labor supply facing the employer, and (3) the role of job attributes (distance, attractiveness of the municipal environment) in helping fill vacancies, as well as the role of wages in helping fill positions in less attractive municipalities. A theoretical model of job applications and acceptance guides the empirical inquiry. We find that higher wages attract more able applicants as measured by their IQ, personality, and proclivity toward public sector work--that is, we find no evidence of adverse selection effects on motivation; higher wage offers also increased acceptance rates, implying a labor supply elasticity of around 2 and some degree of monopsony power. Distance and worse municipal characteristics strongly decrease acceptance rates, but higher wages help bridge the recruitment gap in worse municipalities. JEL Code: H1. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/qje/qjt008
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 128 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 1169-1218

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:128:y:2013:i:3:p:1169-1218

Contact details of provider:

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2009. "State capacity, conflict and development," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25426, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2004. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 1019-1053, October.
  3. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2008. "Representative trust and reciprocity: Prevalence and determinants," Munich Reprints in Economics 20057, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Francois, Patrick, 2000. "'Public service motivation' as an argument for government provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 275-299, November.
  5. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert Dur, 2003. "Signaling and Screening of Workers' motivation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1099, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Mathilde Almlund & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Tim D. Kautz, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," NBER Working Papers 16822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  8. Susanne Schennach & James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," 2007 Meeting Papers 973, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Robert E. Hall & Alan B. Krueger, 2010. "Evidence on the Determinants of the Choice between Wage Posting and Wage Bargaining," NBER Working Papers 16033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Alan Manning, 2010. "Imperfect Competition in the Labour Market," CEP Discussion Papers dp0981, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. Canice Prendergast, 2007. "The Motivation and Bias of Bureaucrats," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 180-196, March.
  12. Douglas Staiger & Joanne Spetz & Ciaran Phibbs, 2008. "Is There Monopsony In The Labor Market? Evidence From A Natural Experiment," Working Papers 1115, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  13. James J. Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter A. Savelyev, 2012. "Understanding the Mechanisms through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 12-00011, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  14. Susi St�rmer & René Fahr, 2013. "Individual determinants of work attendance: evidence on the role of personality," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(19), pages 2863-2875, July.
  15. James E. Rauch, 1994. "Bureaucracy, Infrastructure, and Economic Growth: Evidence from U.S. Cities During the Progressive Era," NBER Working Papers 4973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Daniel Sullivan, 1989. "Monopsony Power in the Market for Nurses," NBER Working Papers 3031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Gerrit Mueller & Erik Plug, 2006. "Estimating the effect of personality on male and female earnings," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 3-22, October.
  18. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Gotte, 2002. "Do workers work more if wages are high? Evidence from a randomized field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00240, The Field Experiments Website.
  19. Lang, Kevin, 1991. "Persistent Wage Dispersion and Involuntary Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 181-202, February.
  20. Handy, Femida & Katz, Eliakim, 1998. "The Wage Differential between Nonprofit Institutions and Corporations: Getting More by Paying Less?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 246-261, June.
  21. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
  22. Daron Acemoglu, 2005. "Politics and Economics in Weak and Strong States," NBER Working Papers 11275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2007. "The Origins of State Capacity: Property Rights, Taxation, and Politics," NBER Working Papers 13028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Torberg Falch, 2011. "Teacher Mobility Responses to Wage Changes: Evidence from a Quasi-natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 460-65, May.
  25. Nicole Fortin & Thomas Lemieux & Sergio Firpo, 2010. "Decomposition Methods in Economics," NBER Working Papers 16045, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Nyhus, Ellen K. & Pons, Empar, 2005. "The effects of personality on earnings," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 363-384, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Fedele, Alessandro & Naticchioni, Paolo, 2013. "Moonlighting Politicians: Motivation Matters!," IZA Discussion Papers 7500, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2013. "Profit with Purpose? A Theory of Social Enterprise with Experimental Evidence," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 47, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  3. Burks, Stephen V. & Cowgill, Bo & Hoffman, Mitchell & Housman, Michael, 2013. "The Value of Hiring through Referrals," IZA Discussion Papers 7382, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Davide Cantoni & Noam Yuchtman, 2013. "The Political Economy of Educational Content and Development: Lessons from History," CESifo Working Paper Series 4221, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Torberg Falch, 2013. "Wages and Recruitment: Evidence from External Wage Changes," CESifo Working Paper Series 4078, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Banuri, Sheheryar & Keefer, Philip, 2013. "Intrinsic motivation, effort and the call to public service," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6729, The World Bank.
  7. Gustavo J Bobonis & Luis R Cámara Fuertes & Rainer Schwabe, 2011. "The Dynamic Effects of Information on Political Corruption: Theory and Evidence from Puerto Rico," Working Papers tecipa-428, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  8. Andrew Beath & Fotini Christia & Georgy Egorov & Ruben Enikolopov, 2014. "Electoral Rules and the Quality of Politicians: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan," NBER Working Papers 20082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Tonin, Mirco & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2014. "Are Public Sector Workers Different? Cross-European Evidence from Elderly Workers and Retirees," IZA Discussion Papers 8238, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. F. Barigozzi & D. Raggi, 2013. "The Lemons Problem in a Labor Market with Intrinsic Motivation. When Higher Salaries Pay Worse Workers," Working Papers wp883, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:128:y:2013:i:3:p:1169-1218. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.