'Public Service Motivation' as an Argument for Government Provision

Posted: 22 Dec 2000

See all articles by Patrick Francois

Patrick Francois

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics

Abstract

A public service motivation (PSM) inclines employees to provide effort out of concern for the impact of that effort on a valued social service. Though deemed to be important in the literature on public administration, this motivation has not been formally considered by economists. When a PSM exists, this paper establishes conditions under which government bureaucracy can better obtain PSM motivated effort from employees than a standard profit maximizing firm. The model also provides an efficiency rationale for low-powered incentives in both bureaucracies and other organizations producing social services.

Keywords: Privatization; Bureaucracy; Public service motivation

JEL Classification: H11, H42, J45, J32

Suggested Citation

Francois, Patrick, 'Public Service Motivation' as an Argument for Government Provision. Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 78, No. 3, Pp. 275-299, November 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=252528

Patrick Francois (Contact Author)

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

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

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