Experimental Economics

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 269–280

Incentives for creativity

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10683-015-9440-5

Cite this article as:
Erat, S. & Gneezy, U. Exp Econ (2016) 19: 269. doi:10.1007/s10683-015-9440-5


We investigate whether piece-rate and competitive incentives affect creativity, and if so, how the incentive effect depends on the form of the incentives. We find that while both piece-rate and competitive incentives lead to greater effort relative to a base-line with no incentives, neither type of incentives improve creativity relative to the base-line. More interestingly, we find that competitive incentives are in fact counter-productive in that they reduce creativity relative to base-line condition. In line with previous literature, we find that competitive conditions affect men and women differently: whereas women perform worse under competition than the base-line condition, men do not.


Creativity Competition Intrinsic motivation Extrinsic motivation Choking Behavioral economics 

Supplementary material

10683_2015_9440_MOESM1_ESM.docx (23 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 23 kb)
10683_2015_9440_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (1.4 mb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 1403 kb)

Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rady School of ManagementUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.CREEDUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamNetherlands

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