PhD Candidate, Department of Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science
Research Fellow, Center for Global Development in Europe
Senior Lecturer in Health Economics, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Given the critical shortage of health workers many developing countries face, the question of how much health staff should be paid remains a critical one. The question becomes more complex when we consider that different types of people apply to become health workers, and that different pay structures may influence the quality and quantity of these applicants.
In this paper, Erika Deserranno investigates how expectations over pay changes the type of people who apply for health worker positions, how health organisations perform, and how potential workers perceive their job. To do this, she collaborated with a Ugandan NGO to experimentally vary expected pay during a rural Community Health Promoter recruitment drive.
She found that while higher-paying positions are more likely to be filled, they discourage applicants with stronger 'prosocial' preferences. Because positions advertised as being more lucrative are less likely to recruit workers who are socially motivated, these positions suffer from higher turnover rates and worse performance.
The CGD Europe Sandwich Seminars brings some of the world's leading development scholars to discuss their new research and ideas. The presentations aim to meet an academic standard of quality and are at times technical, and retain a focus on a mixed audience of researchers and policymakers. A light lunch is provided.