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Englmaier, Florian; Grimm, Stefan; Schindler, David; Schudy, Simeon (2018): The Effect of Incentives in Non-Routine Analytical Team Tasks - Evidence From a Field Experiment. Collaborative Research Center Transregio 190, Discussion Paper No. 71


Despite the prevalence of non-routine analytical team tasks in modern economies, little is known about how incentives influence performance in these tasks. In a field experiment with more than 3000 participants, we document a positive effect of bonus incentives on the probability of completion of such a task. Bonus incentives increase performance due to the reward rather than the reference point (performance threshold) they provide. The framing of bonuses (as gains or losses) plays a minor role. Incentives improve performance also in an additional sample of presumably less motivated workers. However, incentives reduce these workers' willingness to "explore" original solutions.