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

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  • Abigail Barr
  • Danila Serra and Pieter Serneels

Abstract

Economists have traditionally assumed that individual behavior is motivated exclusively by extrinsic incentives.� Social physchologists, 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 Chatak'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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number CSAE WPS/2010-04.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:csae-wps/2010-04

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References

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  1. Armin Falk & James J. Heckman, 2009. "Lab Experiments are a Major Source of Knowledge in the Social Sciences," CESifo Working Paper Series 2894, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Serneels, Pieter & Lindelow, Magnus & Garcia-Montalvo, Jose & Barr, Abigail, 2005. "For public service or money : understanding geographical imbalances in the health workforce," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3686, The World Bank.
  3. Tim Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2005. "Competition and incentives with motivated agents," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 928, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  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. Gregg, Paul & Grout, Paul A. & Ratcliffe, Anita & Smith, Sarah & Windmeijer, Frank, 2011. "How important is pro-social behaviour in the delivery of public services?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 758-766.
  6. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Not-For-Profit Entrepreneurs," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1852, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Martinsson, Peter, 2004. "Honestly, why are you driving a BMW?," Working Papers in Economics 141, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  8. Leonard, Kenneth L., 2002. "When both states and markets fail: asymmetric information and the role of NGOs in African health care," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 61-80, July.
  9. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2004. "Working for God?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4214, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert Dur, 2004. "Incentives and Workers' Motivation in the Public Sector," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-060/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  11. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2006. "The Economics of Fairness, Reciprocity and Altruism - Experimental Evidence and New Theories," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
  12. Kenneth L. Leonard & Melkiory C. Masatu & Alexandre Vialou, 2007. "Getting Doctors to Do Their Best: The Roles of Ability and Motivation in Health Care Quality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
  13. Susan Rose-Ackerman, 1996. "Altruism, Nonprofits, and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 701-728, June.
  14. Barr, Abigail & Fafchamps, Marcel & Owens, Trudy, 2005. "The governance of non-governmental organizations in Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 657-679, April.
  15. Canice Prendergast, 2007. "The Motivation and Bias of Bureaucrats," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 180-196, March.
  16. Pieter Serneels & Abigail Barr, 2005. "Understanding Geographical Imbalances in the Health Workforce," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-018, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Abigail Barr & Truman Packard & Danila Serra, 2013. "Participatory Accountability and Collective Action: Experimental Evidence from Albania," Discussion Papers 2013-08, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  3. 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.
  4. Dur, Robert & Zoutenbier, Robin, 2012. "Working for a Good Cause," IZA Discussion Papers 7058, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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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