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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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    Cited by:

    1. Sheheryar Banuri & Katarina Dankova & Philip Keefer, 2017. "It's not all fun and games: Feedback, task motivation, and effort," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 17-10, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    2. Anne Boring & Claudine Desrieux & Romain Espinosa, 2018. "Aspiring Top Civil Servants' Distrust in the Private Sector
      [Méfiance envers le secteur privé des aspirants hauts fonctionnaires]
      ," Post-Print halshs-01759358, HAL.
    3. Dur, Robert & van Lent, Max, 2018. "Serving the public interest in several ways: Theory and empirics," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 13-24.
    4. Sheheryar Banuri & Stefan Dercon & Varun Gari, 2017. "Biased policy professionals," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 17-07, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    5. Mbiti, Isaac M. & Serra, Danila, 2018. "Health Workers' Behavior, Patient Reporting and Reputational Concerns: Lab-in-the-Field Experimental Evidence from Kenya," IZA Discussion Papers 11352, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Sheheryar Banuri & Philip Keefer & Damien de Walque, 2017. "Love the job... or the patient? Task vs. mission-based motiviations in healthcare," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 17-09, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    7. Arimoto, Yutaka & Kurata, Masamitsu, 2017. "Adoption of Management Practices in the Public Sector of Bangladesh," Discussion Paper Series 654, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    8. repec:eme:rexezz:s0193-230620160000019004 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Sheheryar Banuri & Philip Keefer, 2016. "Mellowing with Tenure? Socialization Increases Prosocial Behavior in Public Organizations," Research in Experimental Economics,in: Experiments in Organizational Economics, volume 19, pages 127-140 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    10. Alessandro Fedele & Pierpaolo Giannoccolo, 2018. "Paying Politicians: Not Too Little, Not Too Much," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS47, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public sector reform; Civil service; Intrinsic motivation; Extrinsic motivation; Performance;

    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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