Department of Political Science

"Not Just for the Money?" How Financial Incentives Affect the Number of Publications at Danish Research Institutions

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  • Department of Political Science
Do public employees work "for the money?" Do financial incentives determine their work effort? The literature gives conflicting answers, but Frey (1997) offers a possible explanation: If financial incentives are perceived as supportive, they can "crowd in" intrinsic motivation and increase the work effort. But if financial incentives are perceived as controlling, the intrinsic motivation is "crowded out," and the work effort decreases with increasing financial incentives to work. However, the empirical evidence concerning Frey's proposition is limited, and our article aims to fill part of this gap. We investigate how the introduction of financial incentives to publish affects the number of publications at 162 Danish research institutions (17 government research institutions and subunits of 10 universities) when the perception of the incentives is taken into account. The results show that the more supportive employees consider the incentives to be, the more financial incentives motivate researchers to increase publication.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Public Management Journal
Pages (from-to)28 - 47
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Research areas

  • Public Service, Motivation, motivation crowding theory, Performance related pay, Researchers

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