66 – Productivity, wages and intrinsic motivation in social enterprises

In our empirical analysis of wage differentials in a sample of workers in the cooperative not for profit sector we find that, consistently with the donative-labor hypothesis, more intrinsically motivated workers “donate more work” (unpaid overtime, arrear holidays) but are also more productive and earn significantly higher wages.

Our results are robust to several measures of workers’ remuneration and controlled for endogeneity. We interpret these findings by arguing that the hypothesis of the static negative correlation between intrinsic motivations and wages (where intrinsic motivations work as a compensating differential) is dominated by the effect by which intrinsic motivations cause or are a signal of higher productivity.




Keywords: wage, donative-labor, intrinsic motivations, productivity