IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v95y2005i3p616-636.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents

Author

Listed:
  • Timothy Besley
  • Maitreesh Ghatak

Abstract

A unifying theme in the literature on organizations such as public bureaucracies and private nonprofits is the importance of mission, as opposed to profit, as an organizational goal. Such mission-oriented organizations are frequently staffed by motivated agents who subscribe to the mission. This paper studies incentives in such contexts and emphasizes the role of matching the mission preferences of principals and agents in increasing organizational efficiency. Matching economizes on the need for high-powered incentives. It can also, however, entrench bureaucratic conservatism and resistance to innovations. The framework developed in this paper is applied to school competition, incentives in the public sector and in private nonprofits, and the interdependence of incentives and productivity between the private for-profit sector and the mission-oriented sector through occupational choice.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2005. "Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 616-636, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:3:p:616-636
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828054201413
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/0002828054201413
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 2003. "School Choice and School Productivity. Could School Choice Be a Tide that Lifts All Boats?," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 287-342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Pieter Serneels & Jose G. Montalvo & Gunilla Pettersson & Tomas Lievens & Jean Damascene Butera & Aklilu Kidanu, 2010. "Who Wants to Work in a Rural Health Post? The Role of Intrinsic Motivation, Rural Background and Faith-Based Institutions in Rwanda and Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2010-10, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2003. "Bureaucrats or Politicians?," Working Papers 238, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    4. Propper, Carol & Sutton, Matt & Whitnall, Carolyn & Windmeijer, Frank, 2010. "Incentives and targets in hospital care: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 318-335, April.
    5. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
    6. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2001. "Government Versus Private Ownership of Public Goods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1343-1372.
    7. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
    8. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
    9. Hoxby, Caroline M., 1999. "The productivity of schools and other local public goods producers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 1-30, October.
    10. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520.
    11. Tirole, Jean, 1994. "The Internal Organization of Government," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(1), pages 1-29, January.
    12. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano, 2008. "Educational Vouchers And Cream Skimming," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1395-1435, November.
    13. Francois, Patrick, 2000. "'Public service motivation' as an argument for government provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 275-299, November.
    14. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert Dur, 2008. "Incentives and Workers' Motivation in the Public Sector," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 171-191, January.
    15. Rosen, Sherwin, 1987. "The theory of equalizing differences," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 641-692, Elsevier.
    16. Aleix Calveras & Juan‐JosÉ Ganuza & Gerard Llobet, 2007. "Regulation, Corporate Social Responsibility and Activism," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(3), pages 719-740, September.
    17. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Maristella Botticini, 2002. "Endogenous Matching and the Empirical Determinants of Contract Form," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 564-591, June.
    18. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2007. "Beauty Is a Beast, Frog Is a Prince: Assortative Matching with Nontransferabilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(4), pages 1073-1102, July.
    19. Richard Arnould & Marianne Bertrand & Kevin F. Hallock, 2000. "Does Managed Care Change the Mission of Nonprofit Hospitals? Evidence From the Managerial Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Dam Kaniska & Perez-Castrillo David, 2006. "The Principal-Agent Matching Market," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-34, August.
    21. Avinash Dixit, 2002. "# Incentives and Organizations in the Public Sector: An Interpretative Review," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 696-727.
    22. Klaus M. Schmidt, 1997. "Managerial Incentives and Product Market Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 191-213.
    23. Mathias Dewatripont & Ian Jewitt & Jean Tirole, 1999. "The Economics of Career Concerns, Part II: Application to Missions and Accountability of Government Agencies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 199-217.
    24. Roth, Alvin E & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1989. "The College Admissions Problem Revisited," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 559-570, May.
    25. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
    26. Atif Mian, 2008. "Incentives in Markets, Firms, and Governments," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 273-306, October.
    27. A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), 2002. "Handbook of Public Economics," Handbook of Public Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.
    28. Hanushek, Eric A., 2002. "Publicly provided education," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 30, pages 2045-2141, Elsevier.
    29. A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), 2002. "Handbook of Public Economics," Handbook of Public Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 4.
    30. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    31. Ballou, Jeffrey P. & Weisbrod, Burton A., 2003. "Managerial rewards and the behavior of for-profit, governmental, and nonprofit organizations: evidence from the hospital industry," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1895-1920, September.
    32. Bruno S. Frey, 1997. "Not Just for the Money," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1183, June.
    33. Kevin Murdock, 2002. "Intrinsic Motivation and Optimal Incentive Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 650-671, Winter.
    34. Canice Prendergast, 2001. "Selection and Oversight in the Public Sector, With the Los Angeles Police Department as an Example," NBER Working Papers 8664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    35. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Paul H. Jensen & Robin E. Stonecash, 2005. "Incentives and the Efficiency of Public Sector‐outsourcing Contracts," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(5), pages 767-787, December.
    2. Paul H. Jensen & Robin E. Stonecash, 2004. "The Efficiency of Public Sector Outsourcing Contracts: A Literature Review," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2004n29, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    3. Makris, Miltiadis, 2009. "Incentives for motivated agents under an administrative constraint," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 428-440, August.
    4. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Brilon, Stefanie, 2014. "Anti-social behavior in profit and nonprofit organizations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 149-161.
    5. Mikel Berdud & Juan M. Cabasés Hita & Jorge Nieto, 2012. "Motivational Capital and Incentives in Health Care Organisations," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 1209, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra.
    6. Rebitzer, James B. & Taylor, Lowell J., 2011. "Extrinsic Rewards and Intrinsic Motives: Standard and Behavioral Approaches to Agency and Labor Markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 8, pages 701-772, Elsevier.
    7. Cordella, Antonio & Cordella, Tito, 2017. "Motivations, monitoring technologies, and pay for performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 236-255.
    8. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2003. "Incentives, Choice, and Accountability in the Provision of Public Services," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 235-249, Summer.
    9. Mikel Berdud & Juan M. Cabasés Hita & Jorge Nieto, 2014. "A Pilot Inquiry on Incentives and Intrinsic Motivation in Health Care: the Motivational Capital Explained by Doctors," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 1401, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra.
    10. Fahad Khalil & Doyoung Kim & Jacques Lawarrée, 2013. "Contracts offered by bureaucrats," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 44(4), pages 686-711, December.
    11. Lea Cassar, 2014. "Optimal contracting with endogenous project mission," ECON - Working Papers 150, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Oct 2014.
    12. Peter Birch Sørensen, 2015. "Reforming Public Service Provision: What have we learned?," EPRU Working Paper Series 2015-01, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    13. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2018. "Prosocial Motivation and Incentives," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 10(1), pages 411-438, August.
    14. Gerhards, Leonie, 2015. "The incentive effects of missions—Evidence from experiments with NGO employees and students," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 252-262.
    15. Andersson, Fredrik, 2004. "A Trickle-Down Theory of Incentives with Applications to Privatization and Outsourcing," Working Papers 2004:13, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    16. Sabrina Teyssier, 2008. "Les Modes de Rémunération comme Mécanismes Sélectifs de la Main d’oeuvre : Fondements Théoriques et Estimations Empiriques," Working Papers 0818, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    17. Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2007. "Volunteer hiring, organizational form and the provision of mission-oriented goods," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 707, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    18. Belenzon, Sharon & Schankerman, Mark, 2008. "Motivation and sorting in open source software innovation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51594, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    19. Pierre Koning & J. Vyrastekova & S. Onderstal, 2006. "Team incentives in public organisations; an experimental study," CPB Discussion Paper 60, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    20. Dietrichson, Jens, 2013. "Coordination Incentives, Performance Measurement and Resource Allocation in Public Sector Organizations," Working Papers 2013:26, Lund University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:3:p:616-636. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.