On the Desirability of Bonus-payments in Public Sector Remuneration


  • Caroline Witte




Two-third of all OECD countries implemented a bonus system to reward their employees. This study identifies the two main arguments of the proponents of these bonus systems. First, bonuses would motivate public servants and second, new talented staff would be attracted to the public service. By means of Political Discourse Evaluation, this paper shows that whether these arguments are convincing, is determined by on one’s expectations of a public servant. If one supposes that public servants should be motivated by some intrinsic urge to make the world a better place instead of by monetary rewards, the argument becomes less acceptable. Furthermore, this analysis shows that the acceptability of the arguments depends on the doubtful assumptions that humans act fully rationally and suitable targets for public servants can be set.


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