Awards as Incentives

Institute for Empirical Research in Economics Working Paper No. 334

38 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2007 Last revised: 9 Dec 2008

See all articles by Susanne Neckermann

Susanne Neckermann

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA; University of Basel

Date Written: November 1, 2008


Non-monetary incentives in the form of awards have so far escaped the attention of economists despite their widespread use. This paper presents an experiment conducted online at IBM to assess the impact of these kinds of extrinsic incentives. Introducing a hypothetical award has statistically significant effects on stated contributions to a public good. Our design allows the estimation of the impact of different award characteristics related to, for example, how public or how valuable the award is. We illustrate these findings by providing predictions about the behavior induced by a new award at IBM.

Keywords: incentives, non-monetary compensation, awards, motivation, experiment

JEL Classification: C99, J33, M52

Suggested Citation

Neckermann, Susanne and Frey, Bruno S., Awards as Incentives (November 1, 2008). Institute for Empirical Research in Economics Working Paper No. 334, Available at SSRN: or

Susanne Neckermann (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zuerich, 8006

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA ( email )

Südstrasse 11
Zurich, CH 8008
+41 44 380 00 78 (Phone)

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics