Working Paper 08/197 - abstract

How Important is Pro-social Behaviour in the Delivery of Public Services? (PDF, 341kB)

Paul Gregg, Paul Grout, Anita Ratcliffe, Sarah Smith and Frank Windmeijer

A number of papers have posited that there is a relationship between institutional structure and prosocial behaviour, in particular donated labour, in the delivery of public services, such as health, social care and education. However, there has been very little empirical research that attempts to measure whether such a relationship exists in practice. This is the aim of this paper. Including a robust set of individual and job-specific controls, we find that individuals in the non-profit sector are significantly more likely to donate their labour, measured by unpaid overtime, than those in the for-profit sector. We can reject that this difference is simply due to implicit contracts or social norms. We find some evidence that individuals differentially select into the non-profit and for-profit sectors according to whether they donate their labour.

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