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Incentives and the Sorting of Altruistic Agents into Street-Level Bureaucracies

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  • Buurman, Margaretha

    ()
    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Dur, Robert

    ()
    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

Many street-level bureaucrats (such as caseworkers) have the dual task of helping some clients, while sanctioning others. We develop a model of such a street-level bureaucracy and study the implications of its personnel policy on the self-selection and allocation decisions of agents who differ in altruism towards clients. When bureaucrats are paid flat wages, they do not sanction, and the most altruistic types sort into bureaucracy. Pay-for-performance induces some bureaucrats to sanction, but necessitates an increase in expected wage compensation, which can result in sorting from both the top and bottom of the altruism distribution. We also show how client composition affects sorting and why street-level bureaucrats often experience an overload of clients.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3847.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2012, 114 (4), 1318-1345
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3847

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Keywords: personnel policy; sorting; altruism; street-level bureaucracy; pay-for-performance;

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Cited by:
  1. repec:dgr:uvatin:2011168 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Dur, Robert & Zoutenbier, Robin, 2012. "Working for a Good Cause," IZA Discussion Papers 7058, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Robert Dur & Robin Zoutenbier, 2013. "Intrinsic Motivations of Public Sector Employees: Evidence for Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 4276, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. repec:dgr:uvatin:2012135 is not listed on IDEAS

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