NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Personalities and Public Sector Performance: Evidence from a Health Experiment in Pakistan

Michael Callen, Saad Gulzar, Ali Hasanain, Yasir Khan, Arman Rezaee

NBER Working Paper No. 21180
Issued in May 2015
NBER Program(s):DEV, POL

This paper provides evidence that the personality traits of policy actors matter for policy outcomes in the context of two large-scale experiments in Punjab, Pakistan. Three results support the relevance of personalities for policy outcomes. First, doctors with higher Big Five and Perry Public Sector Motivation scores attend work more and falsify inspection reports less. Second, health inspectors who score higher on these personality measures exhibit a larger treatment response to increased monitoring. Last, senior health officials with higher Big Five scores are more likely to respond to a report of an underperforming facility by compelling better subsequent staff attendance.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21180

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