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Article

Serving the Country or Serving Thyself: The Quest for Prosocial Motives of Russian MPA Students

U.S. and European scholars have established the association between work in government and public service motivation (PSM). Yet, few studies measure PSM among master of public administration (MPA) students and link it to their intention to work in government. For the first time in Russia, the study tests the association between culturally determined measures of prosocial motives of Russian MPA students and their intention to work for government upon graduation. Three theoretical frameworks help structuring this research: public administration, political trust, and volunteering. The data in this study confirm that Russian MPA students with prosocial motives tend to choose work in government. We explain this phenomenon by deriving the prosocial motive theoretical perspective from the larger concept of PSM and from the theory of political trust. In addition, the study finds that formal and informal volunteering is not related to choosing work in government. The implications of these findings are discussed.