Where Does the Good Shepherd Go? Civic Virtue and Sorting into Public Sector Employment
Several studies have analyzed motives to work in the public versus private sector. However, research on prosocial motivation in the context of public sector employment has largely neglected civic virtue, the motive to contribute to society. This study considers civic virtue in addition to other possible motives, using a representative, longitudinal data set of employees in Germany including 63,180 observations of 13,683 different individuals. We find that civic virtue relates positively to public sector employment beyond altruism, risk aversion, laziness,and (low) financial motivation. The result holds within different branches and is explained by sorting into the sector.