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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:400
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  1. Aldo Rustichini & Uri Gneezy, 2000. "A fine is a price," Natural Field Experiments 00258, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Renault, Régis & Auriol, Emmanuelle, 2008. "Status and incentives," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/12479, Paris Dauphine University.
  4. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520, 07.
  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. Bruno S. Frey, 2005. "Knight Fever: Towards an Economics of Awards," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-12, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  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. Robert Dur, 2008. "Gift Exchange in the Workplace," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-082/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  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. Waldfogel, Joel, 1993. "The Deadweight Loss of Christmas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1328-36, December.
  12. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2008. "Status incentives," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 5913, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  13. Susanne Neckermann & Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Awards as Incentives," CREMA Working Paper Series 2008-31, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  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. repec:ema:worpap:2007-01 is not listed on IDEAS
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