Beyond the Call of Duty? Essays on motivation and self-selection of bureaucrats

Margaretha Buurman

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal


The existence and effects of public service motivation (PSM), or altruism, among bureaucrats, is a well-debated topic among economists and administrative scientists (see e.g. Perry and Hondeghem 2008a, Besley and Ghatak 2005, Francois 2000 and 2007). However, the debate about motivation of public sector workers and its e¤ects on the quality and quantity of public services is not restricted to academia. Many journalists, politicians, and common civilians discuss this issue in the media, parliament, and the streets. The reasons for this lively debate is twofold. First of all, public sector workers are usually paid through taxes. Taxpayers want value for money. A second reason for the public interest in the motivation of bureaucrats and its e¤ects, is that the public, as the clients of public services, encounters the merits and demerits of the e¤orts provided by public sector workers. All the more, since the public often has few alternative providers to choose from. Welfare recipients have no other option than to ask their municipality for bene?ts. Children attending primary schools can often only choose from a few neighbouring schools. Crime victims go to their local police o¢ cer and the injured go to the nearest hospital.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Dur, Robert, Supervisor
  • Swank, Otto, Co-supervisor
  • Webbink, Dinand, Co-supervisor
  • Borghans, L, Co-supervisor, External person
Award date20 Jan 2011
Place of PublicationRotterdam
Print ISBNs9789085592860
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2011

Research programs

  • EUR ESE 02


Dive into the research topics of 'Beyond the Call of Duty? Essays on motivation and self-selection of bureaucrats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this