Publication in IPMJ

Do future bureaucrats punish more? The Effect of PSM and studying Public Administration on Contributions and Punishment in a Public Goods Game, International Public Management Journal (forthcoming), with Markus Tepe


This study tests the effect of PSM and studying public administration on subjects’ behavior in a repeated Public Goods Game with a costly option to punish free riders. Conducting the experiment on 136 students from three subject pools (public administration, social science and business science) shows the following: (1) PSM has a twofold effect, as compassion is associated with higher contributions and attraction to policy making is associated with punishing free riders. (2) Students of public administration do not contribute more than the other two student groups, but they are more likely to punish free riders. (3) Both, attraction to policy making and studying public administration, are associated with more severe behavior towards free riding, as these subjects punish even small amounts of free riding. Due to its implications for policy-implementation, it seems to be worthwhile to pay more attention to preferences of social norm enforcement when selecting public personnel.

IRSPM SIG on PSM, PhD-seminar in Utrecht

I present a preliminary version of the study “On the Support for Equal Employment Opportunity Policies: The Effect of PSM, Political Attitudes, and Public Sector Work” (together with Michael Jankowski and Markus Tepe) which addresses the questions  what drives attitudes towards EEO policies and which mechanisms lead to perceiving a trade-off between EEO policies and migrant-representation.

Thanks for organizing the PhD-Seminar “Hard questions about Public Service Motivation” to Gene A. Brewer, Adrian Ritz, and Wouter Vandenabeele and for the valuable discussions to all participants of this workshop.

Publication JPART March 2018

Are future bureaucrats more risk averse? The effect of studying public administration and PSM on risk preferences (with Markus Tepe)


This study tests the effect of studying public administration and self-reported Public Service Motivation (PSM) on risk preferences. We conduct a compound lottery choice experiment with monetary rewards to measure risk behavior and a post-experiment survey to measure risk attitudes and PSM on three student subject pools. Empirical findings suggest that: First, students of public administration consider themselves more risk averse, but they do not behave more risk averse in the compound lottery choice experiment than business sciences and law students. Second, self-reported PSM is positively associated with risk-averse behavior in the compound lottery choice experiment. Thus, contrary to the popular stereotypical description of bureaucratic behavior, there are no substantive differences in risk behavior among future bureaucrats compared to other student groups.

IJHRM special issue seminar, 2015

Presenting joint work with Bernhard Kittel and Markus Tepe titled “What matters most? How the type and length of service provision conditions the effect of public sector employment on PSM” IJHRM Special Issue Seminar Strategic Human Resource Management and Public Sector Performance at the Utrecht University School of Governance/The Netherlands in May 2015.

Annual Meeting of the DVPW working group decision theory, 2013

Presenting a collaborative research project together with Markus Tepe employing a series of lab and lab-in-the-field experiments on subject pool effects regarding the micro-motives of public servants at the annual meeting of the DVPW working group decision theory (AK Handlungs- und Entscheidungstheory) in Munich/Germany in May 2013.