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Personalities and Public Sector Performance: Evidence from a Health Experiment in Pakistan

Author

Listed:
  • Callen, Michael

    (Harvard University)

  • Gulzar, Saad

    (NYU)

  • Hasanain, Ali

    (University College, Oxford and Lahore University of Management Sciences)

  • Khan, Yasir

    (Lahore University of Management Sciences)

  • Rezaee, Arman

    (University of CA, San Diego)

Abstract

This paper provides evidence that the personality traits of policy actors matter for policy outcomes in the context of two large-scale experiments in Punjab, Pakistan. Three results support the relevance of personalities for policy outcomes. First, doctors with higher Big Five and Perry Public Sector Motivation scores attend work more and falsify inspection reports less. Second, health inspectors who score higher on these personality measures exhibit a larger treatment response to increased monitoring. Last, senior health officials with higher Big Five scores are more likely to respond to a report of an under-performing facility by compelling better subsequent staff attendance.

Suggested Citation

  • Callen, Michael & Gulzar, Saad & Hasanain, Ali & Khan, Yasir & Rezaee, Arman, 2015. "Personalities and Public Sector Performance: Evidence from a Health Experiment in Pakistan," Working Paper Series rwp15-023, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp15-023
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    3. Federico A. Bugni & Ivan A. Canay & Azeem M. Shaikh, 2019. "Inference under covariate‐adaptive randomization with multiple treatments," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 10(4), pages 1747-1785, November.
    4. Rachid Laaja & Karen Macours, 2021. "Measuring Skills in Developing Countries," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 56(4), pages 1254-1295.
    5. Trivitt, Julie & Cheng, Albert, 2016. "When you say nothing at all: The predictive power of student effort on surveysAuthor-Name: Hitt, Collin," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 105-119.
    6. Frederico Finan & Benjamin A. Olken & Rohini Pande, 2015. "The Personnel Economics of the State," NBER Working Papers 21825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Michael Callen & Saad Gulzar & Syed Ali Hasanain & Muhammad Yasir Khan, 2016. "The Political Economy of Public Sector Absence: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan," NBER Working Papers 22340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Prakash, Nishith & Rockmore, Marc & Uppal, Yogesh, 2019. "Do criminally accused politicians affect economic outcomes? Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    9. Berry, James & Mehta, Saurabh & Mukherjee, Priya & Ruebeck, Hannah & Shastry, Gauri Kartini, 2021. "Crowd-out in school-based health interventions: Evidence from India’s midday meals program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 204(C).
    10. Kerstin Eilermann & Katrin Halstenberg & Ludwig Kuntz & Kyriakos Martakis & Bernhard Roth & Daniel Wiesen, 2019. "The Effect of Expert Feedback on Antibiotic Prescribing in Pediatrics: Experimental Evidence," Medical Decision Making, , vol. 39(7), pages 781-795, October.
    11. Max Tabord-Meehan, 2018. "Stratification Trees for Adaptive Randomization in Randomized Controlled Trials," Papers 1806.05127, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2022.
    12. Manoj Mohanan & Katherine Donato & Grant Miller & Yulya Truskinovsky & Marcos Vera-Hernández, 2021. "Different Strokes for Different Folks? Experimental Evidence on the Effectiveness of Input and Output Incentive Contracts for Health Care Providers with Varying Skills," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 34-69, October.
    13. Bertrand, Marianne & Burgess, Robin & Chawla, Arunish & Xu, Guo, 2020. "The glittering prizes: career incentives and bureaucrat performance," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 100808, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Donald,Aletheia Amalia & Goldstein,Markus P. & Rouanet,Lea Marie, 2022. "Two Heads Are Better Than One : Agricultural Production and Investment in Côte d’Ivoire," Policy Research Working Paper Series 10047, The World Bank.
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    16. Eilermann, Kerstin & Halstenberg, Katrin & Kuntz, Ludwig & Martakis, Kyriakos & Roth, Bernhard & Wiesen, Daniel, 2019. "The Effect of Expert Feedback on Antibiotic Prescribing in Pediatrics: Experimental Evidence," HERO Online Working Paper Series 2020:1, University of Oslo, Health Economics Research Programme.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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