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No margin, no mission? A field experiment on incentives forpublic service delivery

Ashraf, Nava and Bandiera, Oriana and Jack, B. Kelsey (2014) No margin, no mission? A field experiment on incentives forpublic service delivery. Journal of Public Economics, 120. pp. 1-17. ISSN 0047-2727

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.06.014


We conduct a field experiment to evaluate the effect of extrinsic rewards, both financial and non-financial, on the performance of agents recruited by a public health organization to promote HIV prevention and sell condoms. In this setting: (i) non-financial rewards are effective at improving performance; (ii) the effect of both types of rewards is stronger for pro-socially motivated agents; and (iii) both types of rewards are effective when their relative value is high. The findings illustrate that extrinsic rewards can improve the performance of agents engaged in public service delivery, and that non-financial rewards can be effective in settings where the power of financial incentives is limited.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
Sets: Departments > Economics
Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2014 09:00
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2016 23:00

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