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The Aversion to Monetary Incentives for Changing Behavior

Viola S. Ackfeld

No 100, Working Paper Series in Economics from University of Cologne, Department of Economics

Abstract: In this paper, I study an aversion to monetary incentives to make other people change their behavior. Particularly, I provide evidence that monetary incentives are disliked because they are powerful in changing what people do but not why they do it besides for money. In an experiment, one group of participants decides about interventions which try to change others' behavior. Between treatments, I vary whether the intervention consists of convincing information or monetary incentives. I find that participants consider monetary incentives as more effective in changing behavior than informative interventions. Nonetheless, they are less willing to intervene by monetary incentives compared to informative interventions to foster their preferred outcome. A comprehensive set of elicited beliefs supports the idea that this aversion to incentives stems from incentives' lack of changing one's reason to act.

Date: 2020-04-14
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe and nep-exp
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