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Submitted by Shanta on

Jakob: Thanks for your thoughtful comments. There are two parts to what you call "soft incentives." One is intrinsic motivation: people show up and do their job because they believe in it, sometimes because of deeply held religious beliefs. We discussed this in the 2004 WDR and some of the evidence is captured in Ritva Reinikka's and Jakob Svensson's paper, "Working for God" ( But there is a second aspect, which has to do with professional norms. You go to work because, if you don't, your peers will not respect you (and vice-versa). As I mention in my next post, I think this is what differentiates much of service delivery in developed and developing countries. The question is: how to you get from one set of professional norms (where people don't abhor absenteeism among their peers)to another? The forthcoming WDR on "Mind and Culture" will, I hope, have some answers. Regards, Shanta