Motivating Bureaucrats Through Social Recognition: Evidence from Simultaneous Field Experiments

38 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2018

See all articles by Varun Gauri

Varun Gauri

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

Julian C. Jamison

World Bank eMBeD (Mind, Behavior, and Development); Innovations for Poverty Action

Nina Mazar

Boston University - Questrom School of Business

Owen Ozier

World Bank

Shomikho Raha

World Bank - Social Development

Karima Saleh

World Bank

Date Written: June 13, 2018

Abstract

Bureaucratic performance is a crucial determinant of economic growth. Little is known about how to improve it in resource-constrained settings. This study describes a field trial of a social recognition intervention to improve record keeping in clinics in two Nigerian states, replicating the intervention -- implemented by a single organization -- on bureaucrats performing identical tasks in both states. Social recognition improved performance in one state but had no effect in the other, highlighting both the potential and the limitations of behavioral interventions. Differences in observables did not explain cross-state differences in impacts, however, illustrating the limitations of observable-based approaches to external validity.

Keywords: Health Care Services Industry, Labor Markets, Educational Sciences, Gender and Development, Hydrology

Suggested Citation

Gauri, Varun and Jamison, Julian C. and Mazar, Nina and Ozier, Owen and Raha, Shomikho and Saleh, Karima, Motivating Bureaucrats Through Social Recognition: Evidence from Simultaneous Field Experiments (June 13, 2018). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8473. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3238307

Varun Gauri (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

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

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

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

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

Julian C. Jamison

World Bank eMBeD (Mind, Behavior, and Development) ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-817-4942 (Phone)

Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )

1731 Connecticut Ave, 4th floor
New Haven, CT 20009
United States

Nina Mazar

Boston University - Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States

Owen Ozier

World Bank

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Shomikho Raha

World Bank - Social Development

United States

Karima Saleh

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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