Intrinsic Motivations of Public Sector Employees: Evidence for Germany

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. 12-135/VII

35 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2012

See all articles by Robert Dur

Robert Dur

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Economics; Tinbergen Institute; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Robin Zoutenbier

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 6, 2012

Abstract

We examine differences in altruism and laziness between public sector employees and private sector employees. Our theoretical model predicts that the likelihood of public sector employment increases with a worker's altruism, and increases or decreases with a worker's laziness depending on his altruism. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study, we find that public sector employees are significantly more altruistic and lazy than observationally equivalent private sector employees. A series of robustness checks show that these patterns are stronger among higher educated workers; that the sorting of altruistic people to the public sector takes place only within the caring industries; and that the difference in altruism is already present at the start of people's career, while the difference in laziness is only present for employees with sufficiently long work experience.

Keywords: public service motivation, altruism, laziness, sorting, public sector employment, personality characteristics

JEL Classification: H1, J45, M5

Suggested Citation

Dur, Robert and Zoutenbier, Robin, Intrinsic Motivations of Public Sector Employees: Evidence for Germany (December 6, 2012). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. 12-135/VII, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2186410 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2186410

Robert Dur (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Tinbergen Institute

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Bonn, D-53072
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Robin Zoutenbier

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

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