Intrinsic Motivation, Effort and the Call to Public Service

32 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Sheheryar Banuri

Sheheryar Banuri

University of East Anglia (UEA) - School of Economic and Social Studies; University of East Anglia (UEA) - Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS)

Philip Keefer

Inter-American Development Bank

Date Written: December 1, 2013

Abstract

Pay schemes in the public sector aim to attract motivated, high-ability applicants. A nascent literature has found positive effects of higher pay on ability and no or slightly positive effects on motivation. This paper revisits this issue with a novel subject pool, students destined for the private and public sectors in Indonesia. The analysis uses dictator games and real effort tasks to examine wage effects on a measure of motivation that exactly matches the mission of the public sector task. The model and experimental design allow for precisely measuring (1) the distribution of ability over the effort task; (2) the distribution of motivational preferences for public sector missions; and (3) outside options when choosing to work for public sector missions. Three novel conclusions emerge. First, more pro-social workers do, in fact, exert higher effort in a pro-social task. Second, in contrast to previous research, motivated individuals are more likely to join the public sector when public sector pay is low than when it is high. Third, real public sector workers exhibit greater pro-sociality than private sector workers, even for entrants into the Indonesian Ministry of Finance.

Keywords: Public Sector Economics, Public Sector Management and Reform, Educational Sciences, Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations and Local Finance Management, Economic Stabilization

Suggested Citation

Banuri, Sheheryar and Keefer, Philip, Intrinsic Motivation, Effort and the Call to Public Service (December 1, 2013). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6729, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2370149

Sheheryar Banuri (Contact Author)

University of East Anglia (UEA) - School of Economic and Social Studies ( email )

Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom
+441603591246 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uea.ac.uk/economics/people/profile/s-banuri

University of East Anglia (UEA) - Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) ( email )

United Kingdom
+441603591246 (Phone)

Philip Keefer

Inter-American Development Bank ( email )

1300 New York Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States
202-623-1961 (Phone)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
365
Abstract Views
1,399
rank
88,998
PlumX Metrics