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Incentives in Basic Research

  • Lazear, Edward P

Individuals involved in basic research, like other workers, respond to incentives. Funding agencies provide implicit incentives when they specify the rules by which awards are made. The following analysis is an exercise in understanding incentives at an applied level. Specific rules are examined. What is the effect of rewarding past effort? What happens when a few large awards are replaced by many small awards? How does the timing of an award affect effort? How does an agency choose which topics to fund? Socially optimal rules are derived. Copyright 1997 by University of Chicago Press.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: S167-97

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:15:y:1997:i:1:p:s167-97
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  1. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1990. "Executive pay and firm performance," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 13-29, February.
  2. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  3. Green, Jerry R & Stokey, Nancy L, 1983. "A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 349-64, June.
  4. John M. Abowd, 1990. "Does performance-based managerial compensation affect corporate performance?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 52-73, February.
  5. Reinganum, Jennifer F., 1981. "Dynamic games of innovation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 21-41, August.
  6. Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
  7. Sah, Raaj Kumar & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1986. "The Architecture of Economic Systems: Hierarchies and Polyarchies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 716-27, September.
  8. O'Keeffe, Mary & Viscusi, W Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1984. "Economic Contests: Comparative Reward Schemes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 27-56, January.
  9. Lazear, Edward P, 1986. "Salaries and Piece Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 405-31, July.
  10. Loury, Glenn C, 1979. "Market Structure and Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 395-410, August.
  11. Carmichael, H Lorne, 1983. "The Agent-Agents Problem: Payment by Relative Output," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 50-65, January.
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