Progetti Finanziati

Ricerca Progetti Finanziati


To discuss intrinsic motivation from different fields, the research focuses on areas other than economics and psychology, in which research has been consolidated by Deci et al. (1999) and Bowles and Polania-Reyes (2012). The topics identified present a strand of sectoral literature in which researchers have explicitly applied SDT and/or directly have measured intrinsic motivation and/or tested the undermining/crowding-out effect of incentives. Following this approach, we identify six topics studying the relationships between motivation, incentives and performance/choices: information technology, health, entrepreneurship, consumption, public administration, the environment and volunteering.For each argument, after a brief definition of the phenomenon as proposed by the scientific literature, we propose three steps of analysis. In the first step, to provide evidence of the distinctions between intrinsic motivation and pro-social motivation, detailed attention is paid to the measurement of motivation. In this area, studies vary widely, both in terms of the object of study and the methodology. Therefore, the empirical evidence concerning motivation is discussed for each area, distinguishing between evidence supporting self-assessed motivation and other results that authors claim demonstrate the existence of intrinsic or pro-social (inferred) motivation. Thus, we aim to answer the following questions: Is intrinsically motivated behaviour distinguishable from pro-socially motivated behaviour when dealing with economic problems? Is it a useful distinction? It should be noted that intrinsically motivated behaviour is closer to the individualist optimizing agent pursuing his/her own welfare, whereas pro-social motivation implies a more complex interaction between an individual’s objective function and others’ welfare, according a place to an “other-regarding” preference structure (Fehr & Fishbacker, 2002). It is always possible that an intrinsically motivated behaviour may produce positive externalities for other individuals and therefore have an effect on others’ welfare, but it should be considered an unintended effect without any return for the individual’s own welfare. Pro-social motivation leads to individuals intentionally pursuing their own welfare by improving others’ welfare. From a theoretical point of view, stimulating pro-social motivation has a direct impact on the individual’s performance and on collective well-being, whereas enabling intrinsic motivation only affects individual satisfaction.The second step explores the relationship between motivation and choices and/or performance. Incentives have an effect on performance and choices through enhancing or undermining motivation. It is essential to examine how the relationship between motivation and performance/choices has been investigated and assessed, establishing the existence of a causal link that goes from incentives to motivation and from motivation to performance. Two kinds of evidence can support the existence of a relationship between motivation and performance or choices: i) evidence on self-selection of individuals endowed with intrinsic or pro-social motivation in specific tasks, organizations or activities; ii) correlations between intrinsic or pro-social motivation and the qualitative/quantitative aspects of associated performance. For each topic, we review, when available, issues concerning the self-selection of motivated individuals in specific tasks or activities and whether the scientific literature highlights a positive relationship between motivation and performance.In the third step, the relationship between motivation and incentives in different areas of investigation is analysed to highlight the kind of relationship that exists and to verify how the undermining or crowding-effect is effectively spread across behaviours.

StrutturaDipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Statistiche/DISES
Tipo di finanziamentoFondi dell'ateneo
FinanziatoriUniversità  degli Studi di SALERNO
Importo2.427,00 euro
Periodo20 Novembre 2017 - 20 Novembre 2020
Proroga20 febbraio 2021
Gruppo di RicercaBRUNO Bruna (Coordinatore Progetto)
FAGGINI Marisa (Ricercatore)
PARZIALE ANNA (Ricercatore)
VINCI Concetto Paolo (Ricercatore)