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Who works in the public sector? Evidence from the World Values Survey

  • Sarah Smith
  • Edd Cowley

    ()

Earlier single-country studies found a higher level of intrinsic motivation among public sector workers, compared to the private sector. Using data from the World Values Survey, covering 51 countries, we find a tendency for public sector workers to be more intrinsically motivated, but this is not a universal relationship: we also show that the level of government corruption (appropriately instrumented) explains some of the variation across countries. Consistent with earlier studies that find that selection accounts for differential motivation across sectors, we show that intrinsically-motivated workers are less likely to work in the public sector when corruption is higher.

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File URL: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmpo/publications/papers/2011/wp268.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 11/268.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:11/268
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  1. Toke Aidt & Jayasri Dutta & Vania Sena, 2006. "Governance Regimes, Corruption and Growth: Theory and Evidence," Discussion Papers 15_2006, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  2. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert Dur, 2003. "Signaling and Screening of Workers' motivation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1099, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Van Rijckeghem, Caroline & Weder, Beatrice, 2001. "Bureaucratic corruption and the rate of temptation: do wages in the civil service affect corruption, and by how much?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 307-331, August.
  4. Cole, Matthew A., 2007. "Corruption, income and the environment: An empirical analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 637-647, May.
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