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Do agents care for the mission of their job? A field experiment


  • Mertins, Vanessa
  • Jeworrek, Sabrina


Economic theory suggests that agents care for the outcomes they produce. This paper studies the conditions under which a pro-social mission of a job affects workers motivation to perform well. In particular, we investigate whether it makes a difference if workers actively decide upon doing a mission-oriented job or are exogenously assigned. We find that a pro-social mission itself affects only a small group of workers in a positive way whereas self-selection into a mission-oriented job leads to a highly significant overall performance boost.

Suggested Citation

  • Mertins, Vanessa & Jeworrek, Sabrina, 2015. "Do agents care for the mission of their job? A field experiment," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112930, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc15:112930

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    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • M55 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Contracting Devices

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