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Rank as an Incentive

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  • Tran, Anh

    (Indiana University)

  • Zeckhauser, Richard

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

Money is the prime incentive in economic models. Recent evidence makes it clear that people are also greatly concerned about how their incomes compare with those of others, suggesting that rank may be a strong motivator as well. Three experiments in Vietnam assessed whether students in real-world learning environments were concerned with their performance rankings. The results showed that concern with rank, even when rankings were not publicly revealed, strongly motivated performance on academic tests. Moreover, rank was able to outweigh money as a motivator.

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Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp09-019.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp09-019

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  8. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  9. Ireland, Norman J., 1994. "On limiting the market for status signals," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 91-110, January.
  10. Richard A. Easterlin, 2000. "The Worldwide Standard of Living since 1800," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 7-26, Winter.
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