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Getting Beyond Intrinsic Motivation in Service Provision: Let’s Talk Incentives

The guest post is authored by Ken Leonard
 
Intrinsic motivation is regularly promoted both as nostrum and portent in conversations about workers in service industries like education and health care. On the one hand, why do we have to focus so much on incentives: aren’t people in the service industry intrinsically motivated to do their job? And on the other, if we focus so much on incentives, aren’t we going demotivate those who are intrinsically motivated?

However, economists and policy makers in the health and education fields are often relying on imperfect definitions of intrinsic motivation.

Weekly Links May 1: Trends in Impact Evaluation, JHR Symposium on Empirical Methods, Superstar Inventors and more...

David McKenzie's picture
  • The Growth Economics blog hits hard with “there’s more to life to manufacturing”, among other things, making the point that even the way we code industries and occupations is heavily biased towards manufacturing and misses most of the action taking part in services growth.

Mystery clients in development research

David Evans's picture
When I turned 16, I got my first formal sector job at a movie theater. The theater was part of a large chain, and occasionally the head office would send mystery shoppers -- employees posing as moviegoers -- to test the quality of our customer service. A colleague of mine was put on probation for getting impatient with an elderly mystery shopper at the ticket window.

Are you teaching or taking a class in development economics in a developing country?

David McKenzie's picture
This is a joint post with Anna Luisa Paffhausen
 
We are currently conducting a study and survey on how development economics is taught in developing countries and would love your help getting the word out and/or participating.
 
Our survey is meant to be a stocktaking and study of whether and how developing economics is taught as part of an economics course in developing countries. We are focusing on undergraduate and masters level classes.
The aim is to use this to understand the following questions:
 

Weekly links April 24: When behavioral phenomena work and when they don’t, marketing skills for small businesses, spillovers, and much more…

David McKenzie's picture

Weekly links April 17: Reducing open defecation, pre-publication replication, free TORs, and so much more

David Evans's picture
1. Looking for breakfast reading?  A new study on improving rural sanitation (specifically investment in hygienic latrines) came out in Science yesterday, comparing (1) community motivation & information campaign, (2) subsidies, and (3) sales agents who gave advice on installation and gave referrals to latrine-building masons. Subsidies directly increased ownership by 22 percentage points (and by 8 percentage points among unsubsidized neighbors).

Presenting to policy vs. academic audiences: some thoughts

Markus Goldstein's picture
I've been doing a bunch of presentations recently to both policy and academic audiences and been reflecting a bit on what the differences in presenting to these two different kinds of audience. Here are a couple of thoughts -- additional contributions are welcome as this is probably a topic that could take up a blog of its own.
 
1.  Keep the language universal.   If you want to reach the whole audience, you have to keep the language at a level that everyone can understand.     This is pretty obvious, but there are a couple of traps here.
 

Weekly links April 10: Online IE education x 3; monkeynomics, surveying under repression, and more…

David McKenzie's picture

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