Love the Job... Or the Patient? Task vs. Mission-Based Motivations in Health Care

26 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2018

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

Damien de Walque

World Bank; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: February 13, 2018

Abstract

A booming literature has argued that mission-based motives are a central feature of mission-oriented labor markets. This paper shifts the focus to task-based motivation and finds that it yields significantly more effort than mission-based motivation. Moreover, in the presence of significant task motivation, mission motivation has no additional effect on effort. The evidence emerges from experiments with nearly 250 medical and nursing students in Burkina Faso. The students exert effort in three tasks, from boring to interesting. In addition, for half of the students, mission motivation is present: their effort on the task generates benefits for a charity. Two strong results emerge. First, task motivation has an economically important effect on effort, more than doubling effort. Second, mission motivation increases effort, but only for mundane tasks and not when the task is interesting. Moreover, even for mundane tasks, the effects of mission motivation appear to be less than those of task motivation.

Suggested Citation

Banuri, Sheheryar and Keefer, Philip and de Walque, Damien, Love the Job... Or the Patient? Task vs. Mission-Based Motivations in Health Care (February 13, 2018). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8338, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3123484

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)

Damien De Walque

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/ddewalque

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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