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Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially

Dan Ariely, Anat Bracha and Stephan Meier

American Economic Review, 2009, vol. 99, issue 1, 544-55

Abstract: This paper experimentally examines image motivation--the desire to be liked and well regarded by others--as a driver in prosocial behavior (doing good), and asks whether extrinsic monetary incentives (doing well) have a detrimental effect on prosocial behavior due to crowding out of image motivation. Using the unique property of image motivation--its dependency on visibility--we show that image is indeed an important part of the motivation to behave prosocially, and that extrinsic incentives crowd out image motivation. Therefore, monetary incentives are more likely to be counterproductive for public prosocial activities than for private ones. (JEL D64, L31, Z13)

JEL-codes: D64 L31 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.1.544
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Working Paper: Doing good or doing well? Image motivation and monetary incentives in behaving prosocially (2007) Downloads
Working Paper: Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially (2007) Downloads
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