IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Are public sector workers different? Cross-European evidence from elderly workers and retirees

Listed author(s):
  • Mirco Tonin

    ()

  • Michael Vlassopoulos

    ()

We investigate whether public and private sector employees differ in terms of public service motivation using a representative sample of elderly workers from 12 European countries. We find that public sector workers, both those currently employed and those already retired, are significantly more prosocial; however, the difference in prosociality is explained by differences in the composition of the workforce across the two sectors, in terms of (former) workers’ education and occupation. Subsample analysis reveals that public sector former workers in education are more prosocial even after controlling for a rich set of characteristics. JEL codes: D64; H83; J45 Copyright Tonin and Vlassopoulos; licensee Springer. 2015

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1186/s40172-015-0027-3
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Springer & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA) in its journal IZA Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2015)
Issue (Month): 1 (December)
Pages: 1-21

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:spr:izalbr:v:4:y:2015:i:1:p:1-21:10.1186/s40172-015-0027-3
DOI: 10.1186/s40172-015-0027-3
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com

Web page: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/index_html?lang=en

Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/40172

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Jan K. Brueckner & David Neumark, 2014. "Beaches, Sunshine, and Public Sector Pay: Theory and Evidence on Amenities and Rent Extraction by Government Workers," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 198-230, May.
  2. Simon Luechinger & Stephan Meier & Alois Stutzer, 2010. "Why Does Unemployment Hurt the Employed?: Evidence from the Life Satisfaction Gap Between the Public and the Private Sector," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(4), pages 998-1045.
  3. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
  4. Ernesto Dal Bó & Frederico Finan & Martín A. Rossi, 2013. "Strengthening State Capabilities: The Role of Financial Incentives in the Call to Public Service," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1169-1218.
  5. Umar M. A. Boodoo & Rafael Gomez & Morley Gunderson, 2014. "Relative income, absolute income and the life satisfaction of older adults: do retirees differ from the non-retired?," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 281-299, 07.
  6. Rema Hanna & Shing-Yi Wang, 2013. "Dishonesty and Selection into Public Service," NBER Working Papers 19649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
  8. Mazzonna, Fabrizio & Peracchi, Franco, 2012. "Ageing, cognitive abilities and retirement," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 691-710.
  9. Alois Stutzer, 2008. "Bureaucratic Rents and Life Satisfaction," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 476-488, October.
  10. Elsa Pilichowski & Emmanuelle Arnould & Edouard Turkisch, 2008. "Ageing and the Public Sector: Challenges for Financial and Human Resources," OECD Journal on Budgeting, OECD Publishing, vol. 7(4), pages 1-40.
  11. Mirco Tonin & Michael Vlassopoulos, 2015. "Are public sector workers different? Cross-European evidence from elderly workers and retirees," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-21, December.
  12. Dimitris Christelis & Dimitris Georgarakos & Michael Haliassos, 2013. "Differences in Portfolios across Countries: Economic Environment versus Household Characteristics," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 220-236, March.
  13. Christelis, Dimitris & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2010. "Cognitive abilities and portfolio choice," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 18-38, January.
  14. 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.
  15. Courant, Paul N & Gramlich, Edward M & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1979. "Public Employee Market Power and the Level of Government Spending," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 806-817, December.
  16. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk, 2010. "You Get What You Pay For: Incentives and Selection in the Education System," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(546), pages 256-271, 08.
  17. Gregg, Paul & Grout, Paul A. & Ratcliffe, Anita & Smith, Sarah & Windmeijer, Frank, 2011. "How important is pro-social behaviour in the delivery of public services?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 758-766.
  18. Edd Cowley & Sarah Smith, 2014. "Motivation and mission in the public sector: evidence from the World Values Survey," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 76(2), pages 241-263, February.
  19. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2005. "Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 616-636, June.
  20. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert Dur, 2008. "Incentives and Workers' Motivation in the Public Sector," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 171-191, 01.
  21. Bruno Frey & Werner Pommerehne, 1982. "How powerful are public bureaucrats as voters?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 253-262, January.
  22. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2009. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1095-1131.
  23. George J. Borjas, 2002. "The Wage Structure and the Sorting of Workers into the Public Sector," NBER Working Papers 9313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Banuri, Sheheryar & Keefer, Philip, 2013. "Intrinsic motivation, effort and the call to public service," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6729, The World Bank.
  25. Laura Crespo & Pedro Mira, 2010. "Caregiving to Elderly Parents and Employment Status of European Mature Women," Working Papers wp2010_1007, CEMFI.
  26. Laura Crespo & Pedro Mira, 2014. "Caregiving to Elderly Parents and Employment Status of European Mature Women," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(4), pages 693-709, October.
  27. Nicholas Bloom & Raffaella Sadun, 2012. "The Organization of Firms Across Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1663-1705.
  28. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
  29. Susann Rohwedder & Robert J. Willis, 2010. "Mental Retirement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 119-138, Winter.
  30. Buurman, Margaretha & Delfgaauw, Josse & Dur, Robert & Van den Bossche, Seth, 2012. "Public sector employees: Risk averse and altruistic?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 279-291.
  31. Iris Kesternich & Bettina Siflinger & James P. Smith & Joachim K. Winter, 2014. "The Effects of World War II on Economic and Health Outcomes across Europe," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 103-118, March.
  32. Oriana Bandiera & Andrea Prat & Tommaso Valletti, 2009. "Active and Passive Waste in Government Spending: Evidence from a Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1278-1308, September.
  33. Viola Angelini & Agar Brugiavini & Guglielmo Weber, 2014. "The dynamics of homeownership among the 50+ in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(3), pages 797-823, July.
  34. Don Bellante & Albert N. Link, 1981. "Are Public Sector Workers More Risk Averse Than Private Sector Workers?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(3), pages 408-412, April.
  35. Giorgio Brunello & Margherita Fort & Guglielmo Weber, 2009. "Changes in Compulsory Schooling, Education and the Distribution of Wages in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 516-539, 03.
  36. Francois, Patrick, 2000. "'Public service motivation' as an argument for government provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 275-299, November.
  37. Åsa Ahlin & Eva Johansson, 2001. "Individual Demand for Local Public Schooling: Evidence from Swedish Survey Data," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(4), pages 331-351, August.
  38. Rebecca M. Blank, 1985. "An Analysis of Workers' Choice between Employment in the Public and Private Sectors," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 38(2), pages 211-224, January.
  39. 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.
  40. Avinash Dixit, 2002. "# Incentives and Organizations in the Public Sector: An Interpretative Review," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 696-727.
  41. Corey, Elizabeth C & Garand, James C, 2002. "Are Government Employees More Likely to Vote?: An Analysis of Turnout in the 1996 U.S. National Election," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 111(3-4), pages 259-283, June.
  42. Nava Ashraf & Oriana Bandiera & Scott Lee, 2014. "Do-gooders and go-getters: career incentives, selection, and performance in public service delivery," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 54, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  43. Edward M. Gramlich & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 1982. "Voting on public spending: Differences between public employees, transfer recipients, and private workers," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(4), pages 516-533.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:izalbr:v:4:y:2015:i:1:p:1-21:10.1186/s40172-015-0027-3. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Rebekah McClure)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.