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Quantity, Quality and Originality: The Effects of Incentives on Creativity

Katharina Laske and Marina Schröder

Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking from Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association

Abstract: We introduce a novel experimental design in which creativity is incentivized and measured along three dimensions: quantity, quality and originality of ideas. We implement piece rate incentives for quantity alone, quantity in combination with quality and quantity in combination with originality and compare the results to a baseline with a fixed wage. Studying the effect of incentives on performance in the separate dimensions of creativity, we find that incentives significantly affect the quantity and average quality of ideas, but not the average originality. We show that incentives have both positive direct and negative spillover effects on performance in these dimensions and that organizations, therefore, face tradeoffs when introducing incentives for creative performance. When investigating the effect of incentives on a combined measure of innovation, i.e., the number of creative ideas that are at the same time of high quality and original, we find that incentives for both quantity and originality perform best.

Keywords: creativity; multitasking; laboratory experiment; real-effort; incentives (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 J33 M52 O30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul, nep-exp, nep-hrm and nep-ino
Date: 2017
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Working Paper: Quantity, Quality, and Originality: The Effects of Incentives on Creativity (2016) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:vfsc17:168151

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