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How important is pro-social behaviour in the delivery of public services?

  • Gregg, Paul
  • Grout, Paul A.
  • Ratcliffe, Anita
  • Smith, Sarah
  • Windmeijer, Frank

A number of papers have suggested that pro-social behaviour in the workplace may be sensitive to the institutional environment, but there is little empirical research that attempts to test this directly using data on worker behaviour. This is the aim of this paper. We show that individuals in the non-profit sector are significantly more likely to do unpaid overtime than those in the for-profit sector. However, we find no evidence of adjustment along either the extensive or intensive margins when individuals change sectors. The results of our analysis therefore point to selection and we find supporting evidence that individuals do self-select on the basis of their propensity to donate labour.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 7-8 (August)
Pages: 758-766

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:7-8:p:758-766
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Ariely, Dan & Bracha, Anat & Meier, Stephan, 2007. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," IZA Discussion Papers 2968, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Smith, Adam, 1759. "The Theory of Moral Sentiments," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number smith1759.
  3. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
  4. Francois, Patrick, 2005. "Making A Difference," CEPR Discussion Papers 5158, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Bell, David N F & Hart, Robert A, 1999. "Unpaid Work," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(262), pages 271-90, May.
  6. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert A.J. Dur, 2002. "Signaling and Screening of Workers' Motivation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-050/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 04 Mar 2005.
  7. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Hélène Turon, 2007. "The Public Pay Gap in Britain: Small Differences That (Don't?) Matter," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1460-1503, October.
  8. Ernst Fehr & John List, 2004. "The hidden costs and returns of incentives - trust and trustworthiness among ceos," Artefactual Field Experiments 00044, The Field Experiments Website.
  9. Susan Rose-Ackerman, 1996. "Altruism, Nonprofits, and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 701-728, June.
  10. Patrick Francois & Michael Vlassopoulos, 2008. "Pro-social Motivation and the Delivery of Social Services," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 54(1), pages 22-54, March.
  11. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2003. "Competition and incentives with motivated agents," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2202, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. David Campbell & Francis Green, 2002. "The Long Term Pay-Off From Working Longer Hours," Studies in Economics 0205, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  13. 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.
  14. Glaeser, Edward L. & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "Not-for-profit entrepreneurs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 99-115, July.
  15. Carl Mellström & Magnus Johannesson, 2008. "Crowding Out in Blood Donation: Was Titmuss Right?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(4), pages 845-863, 06.
  16. Patrick Francois, 2003. "Not-For-Profit Provision of Public Services," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages C53-C61, March.
  17. Preston, Anne E, 1989. "The Nonprofit Worker in a For-Profit World," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 438-63, October.
  18. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Pay Enough Or Don'T Pay At All," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 791-810, August.
  19. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521801423 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Leete, Laura, 2001. "Whither the Nonprofit Wage Differential? Estimates from the 1990 Census," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 136-70, January.
  21. Feldstein, Martin S, 1971. "Hospital Cost Inflation: A Study of Nonprofit Price Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(5), pages 853-72, December.
  22. Christopher Ruhm & Carey Borkoski, 2000. "Compensation in the Nonprofit Sector," NBER Working Papers 7562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus, 2006. "Pride and Prejudice: The Human Side of Incentive Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 5768, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Francesconi, Marco, 2001. " Determinants and Consequences of Promotions in Britain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(3), pages 279-310, July.
  25. Bryce Millard & Andrew Machin, 2007. "Characteristics of public sector workers," Economic and Labour Market Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 1(5), pages 46-55, May.
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