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Pro-social Motivation and the Delivery of Social Services

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  • Patrick Francois
  • Michael Vlassopoulos

Abstract

This article provides an overview highlighting some major themes of the recent literature on the role of pro-social motivation in the provision of social services. We focus on the insights obtained from two alternative ways of modelling pro-social motivation; action-oriented and output-oriented altruism. This literature has implications regarding the design of optimal incentives, the selection of motivated agents and its interaction with monetary rewards, and the optimal organizational form required to exploit such motivations. We also discuss the implications for government provision of social services from the perspective of a parallel literature that emphasizes the non-contractible nature of output, and contrast it with the implications derived from work emphasizing the role of pro-social motivation. (JEL codes: H11, J32, J45, L31, L33) Copyright , Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:54:y:2008:i:1:p:22-54
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cesifo/ifn002
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out

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