In this paper, we assess the beliefs of aspiring top civil servants towards the private sector. We use a survey conducted in a French university known for training most of the future high-ranking civil servants and politicians, as well as students who will work in the private sector. Our results show that students aspiring to work in the public sector are more likely to distrust the private sector, to believe that conducting business is easy, and are less likely to see the benefits of public-private partnerships. They are also more likely to believe that private sector workers are self-interested. These results have strong implications for the level of regulation in France, and the cooperation between the public and private sector.

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Keywords Public service motivation, private sector motivation, career choices, civil servants.
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Journal Revue d' Economie Politique
Boring, A, Desrieux, C., & Espinosa, R. (2018). Aspiring Top Civil Servants' Distrust in the Private Sector. Revue d' Economie Politique, 128(6), 1047–1087. Retrieved from