Prosocial Motivation and Incentives

Posted: 7 Sep 2018

See all articles by Timothy J. Besley

Timothy J. Besley

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Maitreesh Ghatak

London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 2018

Abstract

This review explores the role of incentives in providing goods and services that have significant social returns not captured in private returns, and where outcomes and performances are not easy to measure. We discuss how the presence of prosocial motivation among agents involved in the provision of these goods and services changes the design of incentives. The review also emphasises how heterogeneous prosocial motivation puts a premium on selection of agents in this context. We also discuss alternative theories of prosocial motivation.

Suggested Citation

Besley, Timothy J. and Ghatak, Maitreesh, Prosocial Motivation and Incentives (August 2018). Annual Review of Economics, Vol. 10, pp. 411-438, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3245094 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-economics-063016-103739

Timothy J. Besley (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 20 7955 6702 (Phone)
+44 20 7955 6951 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Maitreesh Ghatak

London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
44 20 7852 3568 (Phone)
44 20 7955 6951 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/adds/ghatak/cv-lse-sept02.pdf

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