We review 74 experiments with no, low, or high performance-based financial incentives.
The modal result has no effect on mean performance (though variance is usually reduced
by higher payment). Higher incentive does improve performance often, typically judgment
tasks that are responsive to better effort. Incentives also reduce presentation effects
(e.g., generosity and risk-seeking). Incentive effects are comparable to effects
of other variables, particularly cognitive capital and task production demands, and
interact with those variables, so a narrow-minded focus on incentives alone is misguided.
We also note that no replicated study has made rationality violations disappear purely
by raising incentives.