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Intrinsic motivations and the non-profit health sector: Evidence from Ethiopia

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  • Danila Serra
  • Pieter Serneels
  • Abigail Barr

Abstract

Economists have traditionally assumed that individual behavior is motivated exclusively by extrinsic incentives. Social psychologists, in contrast, stress that intrinsic motivations are also important. In recent work, economic theorists have started to build psychological factors, like intrinsic motivations, into their models. Besley and Ghatak (2005) propose that individuals are differently motivated in that they have different “missions,” and their self-selection into sectors or organizations with matching missions enhances organizational efficiency. We test Besley and Ghatak’s model using data from a unique cohort study. We generate two proxies for intrinsic motivations: a survey-based measure of the health professionals philanthropic motivations and an experimental measure of their pro-social motivations. We find that both proxies predict health professionals’ decision to work in the non-profit sector. We also find that philanthropic health workers employed in the non-profit sector earn lower wages than their colleagues.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2010-04.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2010-04

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Cited by:
  1. Barr, Abigail & Packard, Truman & Serra, Danila, 2014. "Participatory accountability and collective action: Experimental evidence from Albania," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 250-269.
  2. Robert Dur & Robin Zoutenbier, 2013. "Working for a Good Cause," CESifo Working Paper Series 4227, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Grant Miller & Kimberly Singer Babiarz, 2013. "Pay-for-Performance Incentives in Low- and Middle-Income Country Health Programs," NBER Working Papers 18932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hannes Koppel & Tobias Regner, 2011. "Corporate Social Responsibility in the work place - Experimental evidence on CSR from a gift-exchange game," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-030, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  5. Robert Dur & Robin Zoutenbier, 2011. "Working for a Good Cause," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-168/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 23 Apr 2013.
  6. Barr, Abigail & Packard, Truman & Serra, Danila, 2012. "Participatory accountability and collective action : evidence from field experiments in Albanian schools," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6027, The World Bank.

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