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Selfish bakers, caring nurses? A model of work motivation

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  • Brekke, Kjell Arne
  • Nyborg, Karine

Abstract

Work contributes to people’s self-image in important ways. We propose a model in which individuals have a preference for being important to others. This leads to the following predictions: 1) In fully competitive markets with performance pay, behavior coincides with the standard model (bakers). 2) In jobs where e¤ort is not rewarded according to its social marginal value, behavior is more socially bene…cial than predicted by the standard model (nurses). 3) Even if unemployment bene…ts provide full income compensation, many workers’ utility strictly decreases when losing their job. 4) Similarly, many workers will prefer to work rather than to live o¤ welfare, even with full income compensation. 5) To keep shirkers out of the public sector, nurses’wages must be strictly lower than private sector income. At this wage level, however, the public sector will be too small. 6) It is possible to attract motivated workers to the public sector, without simultaneously attracting shirkers, through capital input improving nurses’opportunity to do a good job.
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  • Brekke, Kjell Arne & Nyborg, Karine, 2010. "Selfish bakers, caring nurses? A model of work motivation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 377-394, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:75:y:2010:i:3:p:377-394
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    Cited by:

    1. Karine Nyborg & Tao Zhang, 2013. "Is Corporate Social Responsibility Associated with Lower Wages?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, pages 107-117.
    2. Gregory F Udell, 2015. "SME Access to Intermediated Credit: What Do We Know and What Don't We Know?," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Angus Moore & John Simon (ed.), Small Business Conditions and Finance Reserve Bank of Australia.
    3. Fehrler, Sebastian & Kosfeld, Michael, 2013. "Can you trust the good guys? Trust within and between groups with different missions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 400-404.
    4. Michael Hoel, 2011. "The Supply Side of CO 2 with Country Heterogeneity," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, pages 846-865.
    5. Margaretha Buurman & Robert Dur, 2008. "Incentives and the Sorting of Altruistic Agents into Street-Level Bureaucracies," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-113/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 14 Oct 2010.
    6. Carlsen, Benedicte & Nyborg, Karine, 2017. "Healer or Gatekeeper? Physicians' Role Conflict When Symptoms Are Non-Verifiable," IZA Discussion Papers 10735, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Nyborg, Karine, 2011. "I don't want to hear about it: Rational ignorance among duty-oriented consumers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 263-274, August.
    8. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Svedsäter, Henrik, 2012. "Self-image and valuation of moral goods: Stated versus actual willingness to pay," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 879-891.
    9. Buurman, Margaretha & Delfgaauw, Josse & Dur, Robert & Van den Bossche, Seth, 2012. "Public sector employees: Risk averse and altruistic?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 279-291.
    10. Monnet Gbakou & Mustapha Sadni Jallab & René Sandretto, 2008. "Foreign Direct Investment, Macroeconomic Instability And Economic Growth in MENA Countries," Post-Print halshs-00303694, HAL.
    11. Margaretha Buurman & Robert Dur, 2012. "Incentives and the Sorting of Altruistic Agents into Street-Level Bureaucracies," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, pages 1318-1345.
    12. Biel, Anders & Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Nilsson, Andreas, 2011. "The willingness to pay–willingness to accept gap revisited: The role of emotions and moral satisfaction," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, pages 908-917.
    13. Rebecca Graziani & Nico Keilman, 2011. "The sensitivity of the Scaled Model of Error with respect to the choice of the correlation parameters: A simulation study," Working Papers 037, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    14. Stijn VAN PUYVELDE & Marc JEGERS, 2016. "Heterogeneity and self-selection into nonprofit management," CIRIEC Working Papers 1603, CIRIEC - Université de Liège.
    15. Jacobsen, Karin J. & Eika, Kari H. & Helland, Leif & Lind, Jo Thori & Nyborg, Karine, 2011. "Are nurses more altruistic than real estate brokers?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, pages 818-831.
    16. Jacobsen, Karin J. & Eika, Kari H. & Helland, Leif & Lind, Jo Thori & Nyborg, Karine, 2011. "Are nurses more altruistic than real estate brokers?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, pages 818-831.
    17. Brekke, Kurt R. & Siciliani, Luigi & Straume, Odd Rune, 2012. "Quality competition with profit constraints," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 642-659.
    18. van den Hauwe, Sjoerd & Paap, Richard & van Dijk, Dick, 2013. "Bayesian forecasting of federal funds target rate decisions," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 19-40.
    19. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert Dur & Carol Propper & Sarah Smith, 2011. "Management Practices: Are Not For Profits Different?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-094/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    20. David Ong & Chun-Lei Yang, 2014. "Pro Bono Work and Trust in Expert Fields," CESifo Working Paper Series 4897, CESifo Group Munich.
    21. Biel, Anders & Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Nilsson, Andreas, 2011. "The Willingness to Pay-Willingness to Accept Gap Revisited: The Role of Emotions and Moral Satisfaction," Working Papers in Economics 497, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    22. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-image Shirking Altruism Work versus welfare Voluntary effort provision;

    JEL classification:

    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General

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