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Serving the Public Interest in Several Ways: Theory and Empirics

Robert Dur () and Max van Lent

No 6553, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo Group Munich

Abstract: We develop a model where people differ in their altruistic preferences and can serve the public interest in two ways: by making donations to charity and by taking a public service job and exerting effort on the job. Our theory predicts that people who are more altruistic are more likely to take a public service job and, for a given job, make higher donations to charity. Comparing equally altruistic workers, those with a regular job make higher donations to charity than those with a public service job by a simple substitution argument. We subsequently test these predictions using the German Socio-Economic Panel Study, which contains data on self-reported altruism, sector of employment, and donations to charity for more than 7,500 workers. We find support for most of our predictions.

Keywords: altruism; charitable donations; public service motivation; public sector employment; self-selection (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D64 H11 J45 M50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hrm
Date: 2017
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Related works:
Journal Article: Serving the public interest in several ways: Theory and empirics (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Serving the Public Interest in Several Ways: Theory and Empirics (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Serving the Public Interest in Several Ways: Theory and Empirics (2016) Downloads
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