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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. Susanne Neckermann & Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Awards as Incentives," IEW - Working Papers 334, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. 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.
  3. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2008. "Status incentives," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 5913, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Emmanuelle Auriol & Régis Renault, 2007. "Status and Incentives," THEMA Working Papers 2007-01, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  5. Aldo Rustichini & Uri Gneezy, 2000. "A fine is a price," Natural Field Experiments 00258, The Field Experiments Website.
  6. repec:spr:compst:v:61:y:2005:i:1:p:1-22 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2006. "What Happiness Research Can Tell Us About Self-Control Problems and Utility Misprediction," IZA Discussion Papers 1952, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. 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.
  9. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520.
  10. Bruno S. Frey & Reto Jegen, 2000. "Motivation Crowding Theory: A Survey of Empirical Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 245, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  12. 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).
  13. 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.
  14. repec:dgr:uvatin:20080082 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Waldfogel, Joel, 1993. "The Deadweight Loss of Christmas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1328-36, December.
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