Intrinsic Motivations and the Non-Profit Health Sector: Evidence from Ethiopia

23 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2010

See all articles by Danila Serra

Danila Serra

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Department of Economics

Pieter M. Serneels

University of East Anglia (UEA)

Abigail Barr

University of Nottingham

Abstract

Economists have traditionally assumed that individual behavior is motivated exclusively by extrinsic incentives. Social psychologists, in contrast, stress that intrinsic motivations are also important. In recent work, economic theorists have started to build psychological factors, like intrinsic motivations, into their models. Besley and Ghatak (2005) propose that individuals are differently motivated in that they have different missions, and their self-selection into sectors or organizations with matching missions enhances organizational efficiency. We test Besley and Ghatak's model using data from a unique cohort study. We generate two proxies for intrinsic motivations: a survey-based measure of the health professionals' philanthropic motivations and an experimental measure of their pro-social motivations. We find that both proxies predict health professionals' decision to work in the non-profit sector. We also find that philanthropic health workers employed in the non-profit sector earn lower wages than their colleagues.

Keywords: sector choice, intrinsic motivation, non-profit

JEL Classification: C93, I11, J24

Suggested Citation

Serra, Danila and Serneels, Pieter M. and Barr, Abigail Margaret, Intrinsic Motivations and the Non-Profit Health Sector: Evidence from Ethiopia. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4746. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1552680

Danila Serra (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Department of Economics ( email )

Dallas, TX 75275
United States

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.smu.edu/dserra/

Pieter M. Serneels

University of East Anglia (UEA) ( email )

Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

Abigail Margaret Barr

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

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