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Pro-social motivation, effort and the call to public service

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  • Banuri, Sheheryar
  • Keefer, Philip

Abstract

We investigate the interaction of pro-social motivation and wages in pro-social organizations with a novel subject pool, 1700 students destined for the private and public sectors in Indonesia, using a measure of pro-social motivation that exactly matches the mission of the organization. Three novel conclusions emerge. Consistent with a common, but untested, assumption in the theoretical literature, workers with greater pro-social motivation exert higher real effort. However, high pay attracts less pro-socially motivated individuals. Furthermore, we also test whether a real world pro-social organization (the Indonesian Ministry of Finance) attracts pro-socially motivated workers. We find that prospective entrants into the Indonesian Ministry of Finance exhibit higher levels of pro-social motivation than a comparable sample of general workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Banuri, Sheheryar & Keefer, Philip, 2016. "Pro-social motivation, effort and the call to public service," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 139-164.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:83:y:2016:i:c:p:139-164
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2015.10.011
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public sector reform; Civil service; Intrinsic motivation; Extrinsic motivation; Performance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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