An Experimental Study of Incentive Reversal in Sequential and Simultaneous Games


1 Faculty of Economics Management and Accounting, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

2 Faculty of Economics, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran



t is commonly held that increasing monetary rewards enhance work effort. This study, however, argues that this will not ineludibly occur in team activities. Incentive Reversal may occur in sequential team productions featuring positive external impacts on agents. This seemingly paradoxical event is explained through two experiments in this article. The first experiment involves a sample of 182 college students who were paired in groups each playing 12 games that led to 2,184 observations. The second experiment involves a sample of 210 college students who were grouped into teams of three that involved 420 observations. The results of both experiments confirmed the occurrence of incentive reversals despite increasing monetary rewards.


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