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Retaining the Thin Blue Line: What shapes workers' willingness not to quit the current work environment?


  • Martin Gachter
  • David A. Savage
  • Benno Torgler


The purpose of this study is to investigate the determinants of police officers' willingness to quit their current department. For this purpose, we work with US survey data that covers a large set of police officers for the Baltimore Police Department in Maryland. Our results indicate that more effective cooperation between units, a higher trust in the work partner, a higher level of interactional justice and a higher level of work-life-balance reduces police officers' willingness to quit the department substantially. On the other hand, higher physical and psychological stress and the expereicene of traumatic events are not, ceteris paribus, correlated with the willingness to leave the department. It might be that police officers accept stress as an acceptable factor in their job description.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Gachter & David A. Savage & Benno Torgler, 2009. "Retaining the Thin Blue Line: What shapes workers' willingness not to quit the current work environment?," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 253, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, revised 28 Oct 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:qut:dpaper:253

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Willingness to Quit the Job; Turnover Rates: Job Satisfaction; Stress; Police Officers; Work-Life Balance; Fairness; Acceptance.;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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