Pro-Social Motivation and the Delivery of Social Services

Posted: 6 May 2009

See all articles by Patrick Francois

Patrick Francois

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics

Michael Vlassopoulos

University of Southampton; IZA -- Institute for the Study of Labor

Date Written: March 2008

Abstract

This article provides an overview highlighting some major themes of the recent literature on the role of pro-social motivation in the provision of social services. We focus on the insights obtained from two alternative ways of modelling pro-social motivation; action-oriented and output-oriented altruism. This literature has implications regarding the design of optimal incentives, the selection of motivated agents and its interaction with monetary rewards, and the optimal organizational form required to exploit such motivations. We also discuss the implications for government provision of social services from the perspective of a parallel literature that emphasizes the non-contractible nature of output, and contrast it with the implications derived from work emphasizing the role of pro-social motivation.

Keywords: donated labour, intrinsic motivation, power of incentives, provision of social services

JEL Classification: H11, J32, J45, L31, L33

Suggested Citation

Francois, Patrick and Vlassopoulos, Michael, Pro-Social Motivation and the Delivery of Social Services (March 2008). CESifo Economic Studies, Vol. 54, Issue 1, pp. 22-54, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1397458 or http://dx.doi.org/ifn002

Patrick Francois

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics ( email )

997-1873 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Canada

Michael Vlassopoulos

University of Southampton ( email )

University Rd.
Southampton SO17 1BJ, Hampshire SO17 1LP
United Kingdom

IZA -- Institute for the Study of Labor ( email )

Bonn

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