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Productivity, wages and intrinsic motivations

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  • Leonardo Becchetti

    ()

  • Stefano Castriota

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  • Ermanno Tortia

    ()

Abstract

There is a long-standing debate in labour economics on the impact of workers’ intrinsic motivations on equilibrium wages. One direction in economic theory suggests that intrinsically motivated workers are willing to accept lower wages and “donate” work, for example, in terms of unpaid overtime (the donative-labour hypothesis). In the other direction, intrinsic motivations are expected to increase worker productivity and, in turn, wages (the intrinsic motivation-productivity hypothesis). Using a new database of a sample of workers in the cooperative non-profit sector, we find that, consistently with the motivation-productivity hypothesis, more motivated workers earn significantly higher wages, which signals higher productivity. Evidence supporting the donative-labour hypothesis is weaker, even though a generally positive connection between motivations and work-donation is confirmed. We interpret these findings by arguing that the impact of the donative-labour effect is dominated by the intrinsic motivation-productivity effect. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Becchetti & Stefano Castriota & Ermanno Tortia, 2013. "Productivity, wages and intrinsic motivations," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 379-399, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:41:y:2013:i:2:p:379-399
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-012-9431-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Federica VIGANO & Andrea SALUSTRI, 2015. "Matching profit and Non-profit Needs: How NPOs and Cooperative Contribute to Growth in Time of Crisis. A Quantitative Approach," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(1), pages 157-178, March.
    2. Becchetti, Leonardo & Palestini, Arsen & Solferino, Nazaria & Elisabetta Tessitore, M., 2014. "The socially responsible choice in a duopolistic market: A dynamic model of “ethical product” differentiation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 114-123.
    3. Juan Chaparro & Eduardo Lora, 2017. "Do Good Job Conditions Matter for Wages and Productivity? Theory and Evidence from Latin America," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 12(1), pages 153-172, March.
    4. Fabio Sabatini & Francesca Modena & Ermanno Tortia, 2014. "Do cooperative enterprises create social trust?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 621-641, March.
    5. Salustri, Andrea & Mosca, Michele & Viganò, Federica, 2015. "Overcoming urban-rural imbalances: the role of cooperatives and social enterprises," MPRA Paper 67685, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Sacchetti, Silvia & Tortia, Ermanno, 2016. "A needs theory of governance," AICCON Working Papers 151-2016, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    7. Astrid SIMILON, 2015. "Self-Regulation Systems for NPO Coordination: Strenghts and Weaknesses of Label and Umbrella Mechanisms," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(1), pages 89-104, March.
    8. Silvia Sacchetti & Ermanno Tortia, 2013. "Satisfaction with Creativity: A Study of Organizational Characteristics and Individual Motivation," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(6), pages 1789-1811, December.
    9. Bruna BRUNO & Damiano FIORILLO, 2016. "Voluntary Work And Wages," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 175-202, December.
    10. Giacomo Degli Antoni & Fabio Sabatini, 2017. "Social cooperatives, social welfare associations and social networks," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 75(2), pages 212-230, April.
    11. Solferino, Nazaria & Solferino, Viviana, 2016. "The corporate social responsibility is just a twist in a Möbius strip," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 10, pages 1-24.
    12. Fabio Sabatini & Francesca Modena & Ermanno Tortia, 2012. "�Do cooperative enterprises create social trust?," Euricse Working Papers 1243, Euricse (European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises).
    13. Jae Hyeung Kang & James G. Matusik & Lizabeth A. Barclay, 2017. "Affective and Normative Motives to Work Overtime in Asian Organizations: Four Cultural Orientations from Confucian Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 115-130, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor-donation; Intrinsic motivations; Productivity; Wages; Wage differentials; Non-profit; J30; J31; I30; L26;

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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