A note on optimal incentives with state-dependent preferences
AbstractIn both experimental and natural settings incentives sometimes under-perform, generating smaller eects on the targeted behaviors than would be predicted for entirely self-regarding agents. A parsimonious explanation is that incentives that appeal to payo maximizing mo- tives may crowd out non-economic motives such as altruism, reciprocity, intrinsic motivation and other social preferences, leading to disappointing and sometimes even counter-productive incentive eects. Evidence from behavioral experiments indicates that crowding may take two forms: categorical (the eect on preferences depends only on the presence or absence of the incentive) or marginal (the eect depends on the extent of the incentive). We extend an earlier contribution to this journal (Bowles and Hwang, 2008) providing a more general framework for the study of optimal incentives when crowding out results from framing and information eects including (with evidence for ) categorical crowding, and as a result, an expanded range of situations for which the sophisticated planner will make greater use of incentives when incentives crowd out social preferences than when motivational crowding is absent.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Research Institute for Market Economy, Sogang University in its series Working Papers with number 1118.
Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Social preferences; public goods; motivational crowding out; explicit incentives; framing; endogenuous preferences;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
- D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy-Making and Implementation
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Economics; Underlying Principles
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-11-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-CTA-2011-11-28 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-EVO-2011-11-28 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2011-11-28 (Experimental Economics)
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