Working Paper BETA #2019-37

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Title : Intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivators on creative collaboration: The effect of sharing rewards

Author(s) : Giuseppe Attanasi, Ylenia Curci, Patrick Llerena, Giulia Urso

Abstract : Charness and Grieco (2019) have experimentally shown that financial incentives have a positive impact on individual creativity, but only in the case of “close” creativity, i.e., when there are constraints to the creative task that a subject has to accomplish. In this paper, we build on the same “close” creativity assignments of Charness and Grieco (2019) and analyze with undergraduate students and with experts in creativity the interplay between monetary incentives and group cooperation in creative assignments. We introduce a novel model of intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation to group collaboration in creativity and run a theorydriven experiment to test our experimental hypotheses on the crowding out of intrinsic motivation due to extrinsic motivation to group creativity. We find more creativity in the group than in the individual treatment, apart when there are explicit monetary incentives to co-working (sharing ideas) in the creative assignment. Therefore, while Charness and Grieco (2019) show a positive interplay between monetary incentives (extrinsic individual motivation) and “close” creativity at the individual level, we provide evidence of a negative interplay between monetary incentives and “close” creativity at the group level (crowding out of intrinsic group motivation). Furthermore, and again in line with our model predictions, the latter effect is found more in the experimental sessions with experts in creativity than in those with undergraduate students.

Key-words : Creativity, Group cooperation, Intrinsic Motivation, Extrinsic Motivation, Crowding out, Experiment

JEL Classification : I23, O31, O32