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Losing prosociality in the quest for talent? Sorting, selection, and productivity in the delivery of public services

Ashraf, Nava, Bandiera, Oriana and Lee, Scott (2018) Losing prosociality in the quest for talent? Sorting, selection, and productivity in the delivery of public services. Development Discussion Papers (65). Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE, London, UK.

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Abstract

We embed a field experiment in a nationwide recruitment drive for nurses in Zambia to test whether career benefits attract talent at the expense of prosocial motivation. We randomize the offer of career benefits at the recruitment stage. In line with common wisdom, treatment attracts less prosocial applicants. However, the trade-off only exists at low levels of talent; the marginal applicants in treatment are more talented and equally pro-social. These are hired, and they perform better at every step of the chain: they deliver more services, promote institutional childbirth, and reduce child malnutrition by 25% in the communities they serve.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © 2014 The Authors
Divisions: Economics
STICERD
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Sets: Departments > Economics
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2018 11:14
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 23:26
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/88175

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