Economics Research Seminar Series 05-2020

Topic: Encouraging Service Delivery to the Poor: Does Money Talk When Health Workers Are Pro-Poor?

By Dr Sheheryar Banuri

Presenter: Sheheryar Banuri is a development economist and Lecturer at the University of East Anglia. His research focuses on motivation and decision-making in the public sector. His work is at the intersection of policy, economics, and public administration, and uses a combination of survey methods, lab, and field experiments. Sheheryar has conducted field research in Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and the US. His work has provided policy guidance to the governments of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Burkina Faso. His empirical work is also featured in the World Development Report 2015: Mind, Society, and Behavior. His current projects focus on motivation and incentives of education and health workers, identity and cooperation in post-conflict areas, and the impact of information technologies on local public service delivery.

Abstract:Do service providers respond to pecuniary incentives to serve the poor? Service delivery to the poor is complicated by the extra effort required to deliver services to them and the intrinsic incentives of service providers to exert this effort. Incentive schemes typically fail to account for these complications. A lab-in-the-field experiment with nearly 400 health workers in rural Burkina Faso provides strong evidence that the interaction of effort costs, ability, and intrinsic and extrinsic incentives significantly influences service delivery to the poor. Health workers reviewed video vignettes of medical cases involving poor and nonpoor patients under a variety of bonus schemes. Bonuses to serve the poor have less impact on effort than bonuses to serve the nonpoor; health workers who receive equal bonuses to serve poor and nonpoor patients see fewer poor patients than workers who receive only a flat salary; and bonuses operate largely through their influence on the behavior of pro-poor workers.

Date: June 4th, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM
Webinar link:
Meeting ID: 653 013 4089


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