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Auszeichnungen: Ein vernachlässigter Anreiz


  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Susanne Neckermann


The standard principal agent model considers monetary incentives only. It is assumed that money is more efficient than other forms of material, non-monetary compensation. Awards in the form of titles, orders, medals and honors (prizes)- though almost omnipresent - have so far escaped the attention of economists. They present extrinsic, non-monetary incentives that operate through the innate desire of human beings for recognition and status. In this article, we analyse the differences between monetary incentives and awards: in general, awards are cheap, lead to interpersonal relationships, are not directly related to performance and have a signalling value. In addition, they support intrinsic motivation, may increase social welfare and are exempt from taxation. Awards present an important additional instrument to be considered in principal agent theory. In many contexts they are superior to monetary compensation. Copyright Verein für Socialpolitik und Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno S. Frey & Susanne Neckermann, 2006. "Auszeichnungen: Ein vernachlässigter Anreiz," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(2), pages 271-284, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:perwir:v:7:y:2006:i:2:p:271-284

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bohnet, Iris & Cooter, Robert, 2001. "Expressive Law: Framing or Equilibrium Selection?," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt5h6970h8, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
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    4. Stutzer, Alois, 2004. "The role of income aspirations in individual happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 89-109, May.
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    6. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
    7. Becht, Marco & Bolton, Patrick & Roell, Ailsa, 2003. "Corporate governance and control," Handbook of the Economics of Finance,in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 1-109 Elsevier.
    8. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    9. Frey, Bruno S & Jegen, Reto, 2001. " Motivation Crowding Theory," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(5), pages 589-611, December.
    10. Bruno S. Frey & Margit Osterloh, "undated". "Yes, Managers Should be Paid Like Bureaucrats," IEW - Working Papers 187, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    11. Bruno S. Frey, 2005. "Knight Fever – Towards an Economics of Awards," CESifo Working Paper Series 1468, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
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    15. Lindbeck, Assar, 1985. "The Prize in Economic Science in Memory of Alfred Nobel," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 37-56, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno S. Frey & Susanne Neckermann, 2008. "Awards: A view from psychological economics," IEW - Working Papers 357, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects


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