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Academics Appreciate Awards. A New Aspect of Incentives in Research

  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Susanne Neckermann

This paper analyzes awards as a means of motivation prevalent in the scientific community, but so far neglected in the economic literature on incentives, and discusses their relationship to monetary compensation. Awards are better suited than performance pay to reward scientific tasks, which are typically of a vague nature. They derive their value, for instance, from signaling research talent to outsiders. Awards should therefore be taken seriously as a means of motivating research that may complement, or even substitute for, monetary incentives. While we discuss awards in the context of academia, our conclusions apply to other principal-agent settings as well.

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Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in its series CREMA Working Paper Series with number 2008-32.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2008-32
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  1. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Waldfogel, Joel, 1993. "The Deadweight Loss of Christmas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1328-36, December.
  3. Emmanuelle Auriol & Régis Renault, 2008. "Status and incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 305-326.
  4. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2008. "Status incentives," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 5913, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. repec:ema:worpap:2007-01 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Susanne Neckermann & Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Awards as Incentives," IEW - Working Papers 334, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Bruno S. Frey, . "Knight Fever towards an Economics of Awards," IEW - Working Papers 239, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  8. Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "What Happiness Research Can Tell Us About Self-Control Problems And Utility Misprediction," IEW - Working Papers 267, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  9. Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo, 2000. "A Fine is a Price," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, January.
  10. Robert Dur, 2008. "Gift Exchange in the Workplace," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-082/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  11. Susanne Neckermann & Reto Cueni & Bruno S. Frey, 2009. "What is an Award Worth? An Econometric Assessment of the Impact of Awards on Employee Performance," CESifo Working Paper Series 2657, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. repec:spr:compst:v:61:y:2005:i:1:p:1-22 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Bruno S. Frey & Reto Jegen, 2000. "Motivation Crowding Theory: A Survey of Empirical Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 245, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. C. Gavrila & J.P. Caulkins & G. Feichtinger & G. Tragler & R.F. Hartl, 2005. "Managing the reputation of an award to motivate performance," Mathematical Methods of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 1-22, 03.
  15. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520, 07.
  16. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
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