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Mellowing with Tenure? Socialization Increases Prosocial Behavior in Public Organizations

Experiments in Organizational Economics

ISBN: 978-1-78560-964-0, eISBN: 978-1-78560-963-3

Publication date: 18 December 2016


Recent research suggests that prosocial organizations are likely to have more prosocial employees, and that this match plays a significant role in organization contracting practices and productivity – for example, in government. Evidence suggests that selection plays a role: prosocial employees are more likely to join prosocial organizations. In this paper, we ask whether prosocial behavior increases with tenure in prosocial organizations. Using a unique sample of nearly 300 mid-career Indonesian public officials, we find that subjects with longer tenure in the public sector exhibit greater prosocial behavior.




The authors have no relevant or material financial interests that relate to the research described in this paper. We are grateful to Ghazala Mansuri for extremely helpful discussions; to Dr. Muhammad Taufiq at STIA, and Maria Tambunan at the World Bank; and to Eric McLester for his invaluable help in running the sessions.


Banuri, S. and Keefer, P. (2016), "Mellowing with Tenure? Socialization Increases Prosocial Behavior in Public Organizations", Experiments in Organizational Economics (Research in Experimental Economics, Vol. 19), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 127-140.



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