Charness and Daniela (2014)
|Charness and Daniela (2014)|
|Title:||Creativity and Financial Incentives|
|Author(s):||Charness, G., Grieco, D.|
|Citation:||Charness, G., & Grieco, D. (2014). Creativity and Financial Incentives.|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||There were 14 pen-and-paper sessions, with atotal of 236 participants. The subjects were undergraduate students, 57.2% female and 42.8% male.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
Creativity is a complex and multi-dimensional phenomenon with tremendous economic importance. Yet, despite this importance, there is very little work on the topic in the economics literature. In this paper, we consider the effect of incentives on creativity. We present a first series of experiments on individual creativity where subjects face creativity tasks where, in one case, ex-ante goals and constraints are imposed on their answers, and in the other case no restrictions apply. The effects of financial incentives in stimulating creativity in both types of tasks is then tested, together with the impact of personal features like risk and ambiguity aversion. Our findings show that, in general, financial incentives affect “closed” (constrained) creativity, but do not facilitate “open” (unconstrained) creativity. However, in the latter case incentives do play a role for ambiguity-averse agents, who tend to be significantly less creative and seem to need extrinsic motivation to exert effort in a task whose odds of success they don’t know. The second set of experiments aims at exploring group creativity in contexts where the “corporate culture” is either cooperative or individualistic. Our results show that, in the case of closed tasks, financial incentives and collectivist attitudes foster creativity, but only with cooperative corporate culture.
Main Results of the Study
- Financial incentives only increased creative output when; individuals where motivated by financial incentive to do closed creative tasks (tasks with a known goal or end) and in a group setting where the group had a common goal (this treatment group mimicked the collective corporate culture).- In other circumstances like in open creativity tasks (no knows creative target/goal) and when no team incentive were produced for groups the monetary incentives did not increase creative output.- Also found that men where more likely to take risks than women and wagered more money under know risk (coinflip), however under ambiguous risk (the exact probabilities of were unknown to the test subjects) men and women bet similar amounts to what the women bet under known risk which would suggest men are more averse to ambiguous risk than women.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- Stronger copyright laws do not necessarily increase creative output suggested by the ambiguous results from historical data to increases and decreases in the stregnth of copyright laws.- The results showed that programs to induce a more collective corporate atmosphere could be worthwhile, since individuals performed better with financial incentives when there was a collective corporate culture.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||University students|
|Period of material under study:||2014|