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Motivation Crowding Theory: A Survey of Empirical Evidence

Author

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  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Reto Jegen

Abstract

The motivation crowding effect suggests that an external intervention via monetary incentives or punishments may undermine (and under different indentifiable conditions strengthen) intrinsic motivation. As of today, the theoretical \lang1033 possibility of crowding effects is widely accepted among economists. Many of them, however, have been critical about its empirical relevance. This survey shows that such scepticism is unwarranted and that there exists indeed compelling empirical evidence for the existence of crowding out and crowding in. It is based on circumstantial insight, laboratory studies by both psychologists and economists as well as field research by econometric studies. The presented pieces of evidence refer to a wide var iety of areas of the economy and society and have been collected for many different countries and periods. Crowding effects thus are an empirically relevant phenomenon, which can, in specific cases, even dominate the traditional relative price effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno S. Frey & Reto Jegen, 2000. "Motivation Crowding Theory: A Survey of Empirical Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 245, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_245
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/WP245.PDF
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1986. "Equilibrium Verification and Reporting Policies in a Model of Tax Compliance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 739-760, October.
    2. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1990. "Have IRAs Increased U. S. Saving?: Evidence from Consumer Expenditure Surveys," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 661-698.
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