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Knight Fever towards an Economics of Awards

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  • Bruno S. Frey

Abstract

Awards in the form of orders, medals, decorations and titles are ubiquitous in monarchies and republics, private organizations, not-for-profit and profit-oriented firms. Nevertheless, economists have disregarded this kind of non-material extrinsic incentive. The demand for awards relies on an individual’s desire for distinction, and the supply of awards on the provision of incentives. Relative price and income effects are shown to be identifiable and strong. A number of empirically testable propositions are formulated. As awards are (at least so far) impossible to measure adequately, empirical tests are carried out using the technique of analytic narratives.

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Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 239.

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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:239

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Keywords: Incentives; motivation; awards; orders; distinction; principal-agent;

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