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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 Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 400.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:400
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  1. Bruno S. Frey, 2005. "Knight Fever – Towards an Economics of Awards," CESifo Working Paper Series 1468, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Renault, Régis, 2007. "Status and Incentives," IDEI Working Papers 451, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. Waldfogel, Joel, 1993. "The Deadweight Loss of Christmas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1328-36, December.
  4. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2008. "Status Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 206-11, May.
  5. 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.
  6. Susanne Neckermann & Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Awards as Incentives," IEW - Working Papers 334, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. 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.
  8. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
  9. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  10. Bruno S. Frey & Reto Jegen, 2000. "Motivation Crowding Theory: A Survey of Empirical Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 245, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520.
  12. Aldo Rustichini & Uri Gneezy, 2000. "A fine is a price," Natural Field Experiments 00258, The Field Experiments Website.
  13. Robert Dur, 2008. "Gift Exchange in the Workplace," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-082/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  14. repec:spr:compst:v:61:y:2005:i:1:p:1-22 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. 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.
  16. Robert Dur, 2008. "Gift Exchange in the Workplace," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-082/1, Tinbergen Institute.
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