IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/jecmet/v12y2005i2p265-276.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Monetary incentives, what are they good for?

Author

Listed:
  • Daniel Read

Abstract

This paper is a critical reflection on the use of monetary incentives in economic experiments. The argument is that incentives have their effect through their influence on one or more of three factors: (1) cognitive exertion; (2) motivational focus; (3) emotional triggers. I suggest that these effects can often be achieved without monetary incentives, and incentives are not even guaranteed to achieve those effects. There are also disadvantages to requiring the use of incentives in experiments. The paper concludes by suggesting there is no basis for requiring the use of real incentives to do experimental economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Read, 2005. "Monetary incentives, what are they good for?," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 265-276.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:12:y:2005:i:2:p:265-276
    DOI: 10.1080/13501780500086180
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13501780500086180
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1080/13501780500086180?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Keren, Gideon & Roelofsma, Peter, 1995. "Immediacy and Certainty in Intertemporal Choice," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 287-297, September.
    2. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
    3. Cummings, Ronald G & Harrison, Glenn W & Rutstrom, E Elisabet, 1995. "Homegrown Values and Hypothetical Surveys: Is the Dichotomous Choice Approach Incentive-Compatible?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 260-266, March.
    4. George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1209-1248.
    5. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    6. Grether, David M & Plott, Charles R, 1979. "Economic Theory of Choice and the Preference Reversal Phenomenon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 623-638, September.
    7. Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1991. "Does the Random-Lottery Incentive System Elicit True Preferences? An Experimental Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 971-978, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Yaron Azrieli & Christopher P. Chambers & Paul J. Healy, 2018. "Incentives in Experiments: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1472-1503.
    2. Fiore, Annamaria, 2009. "Experimental Economics: Some Methodological Notes," MPRA Paper 12498, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Jinkwon Lee, 2007. "Repetition And Financial Incentives In Economics Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 628-681, July.
    4. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
    5. Alex Imas & Sally Sadoff & Anya Samek, 2017. "Do People Anticipate Loss Aversion?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 63(5), pages 1271-1284, May.
    6. James C. Cox & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2018. "Incentives," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2018-01, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    7. Enrico Diecidue & Peter Wakker & Marcel Zeelenberg, 2007. "Eliciting decision weights by adapting de Finetti’s betting-odds method to prospect theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 179-199, June.
    8. Thomas Epper & Helga Fehr-Duda & Adrian Bruhin, 2011. "Viewing the future through a warped lens: Why uncertainty generates hyperbolic discounting," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 169-203, December.
    9. Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2013. "Salience and Consumer Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(5), pages 803-843.
    10. Paolo Crosetto & Antonio Filippin, 2013. "The “bomb” risk elicitation task," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 31-65, August.
    11. James C. Cox & Vjollca Sadiraj & Ulrich Schmidt, 2012. "Asymmetrically Dominated Choice Problems and Random Incentive Mechanisms," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2012-10, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, revised Mar 2014.
    12. Jinkwon Lee, 2008. "The effect of the background risk in a simple chance improving decision model," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 19-41, February.
    13. Nathalie Etchart-Vincent & Olivier l’Haridon, 2011. "Monetary incentives in the loss domain and behavior toward risk: An experimental comparison of three reward schemes including real losses," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 61-83, February.
    14. Francesco Bogliacino & Cristiano Codagnone & Giuseppe Alessandro Veltri & Amitav Chakravarti & Pietro Ortoleva & George Gaskell & Andriy Ivchenko & Francisco Lupiáñez-Villanueva & Francesco Mureddu & , 2015. "Pathos & Ethos: Emotions and Willingness to Pay for Tobacco Products," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 10(10), pages 1-25, October.
    15. Mayrhofer, Thomas & Krieger, Miriam, 2012. "Patient Preferences and Treatment Thresholds under Diagnostic Risk: An Economic Laboratory Experiment," VfS Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62033, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    16. Roxane Bricet, 2018. "Preferences for information precision under ambiguity," THEMA Working Papers 2018-09, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    17. Ozlem Ozdemir & Andrea Morone, 2014. "An experimental investigation of insurance decisions in low probability and high loss risk situations," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 9(1), pages 53-67, April.
    18. Biener, Christian & Eling, Martin & Lehmann, Martin, 2020. "Balancing the desire for privacy against the desire to hedge risk," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 608-620.
    19. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & Joaquim Silvestre, 2003. "Do the Wealthy Risk More Money? An Experimental Comparison," Discussion Papers 03-15, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    20. Dixit, Vinayak V. & Harb, Rami C. & Martínez-Correa, Jimmy & Rutström, Elisabet E., 2015. "Measuring risk aversion to guide transportation policy: Contexts, incentives, and respondents," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 15-34.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    experimental methods; incentives;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:12:y:2005:i:2:p:265-276. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/RJEC20 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Chris Longhurst (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/RJEC20 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.