Trust the Police? Self-Selection of Motivated Agents into the German Police Force

27 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2017

See all articles by Guido Friebel

Guido Friebel

Goethe University Frankfurt; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Michael Kosfeld

Goethe University Frankfurt; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); University of Bonn - Center for Development Research (ZEF)

Gerd Thielmann

Independent

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 14, 2016

Abstract

We conduct experimental games with police applicants in Germany to investigate whether intrinsically motivated agents self-select into public service. Our focus is on trustworthiness and the willingness to enforce norms as key dimensions of intrinsic motivation in the police context. We find that police applicants are more trustworthy than non-applicants, i.e., they return higher shares as second-movers in a trust game. Furthermore, they invest more in rewards and punishment when they can enforce cooperation as a third party. Our results provide clear evidence for advantageous self-selection into the German police force, documenting an important mechanism by which the match between jobs and agents in public service can be improved.

Keywords: self-selection, intrinsic motivation, public service, trustworthiness, norm enforcement

JEL Classification: C900, D640, D730, J450

Suggested Citation

Friebel, Guido and Kosfeld, Michael and Thielmann, Gerd, Trust the Police? Self-Selection of Motivated Agents into the German Police Force (December 14, 2016). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6245, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2906251

Guido Friebel

Goethe University Frankfurt ( email )

Gr√ľneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Michael Kosfeld (Contact Author)

Goethe University Frankfurt ( email )

Faculty of Economics and Business Administration
Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 4
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

University of Bonn - Center for Development Research (ZEF) ( email )

Walter-Flex-Str. 3
Bonn, NRW 53113
Germany

Gerd Thielmann

Independent ( email )

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