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Daniel Pink on Drive, Motivation, and Incentives

Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about drive, motivation, compensation, and incentives.

Pink discusses the implications of using monetary rewards as compensation in business and in education. Much of the conversation focuses on the research underlying the book, research from behavioral psychology that challenges traditional claims by economists on the power of monetary and other types of incentive. The last part of the conversation turns toward education and the role of incentives in motivating or demotivating students.

Pink's message is that a substantial body of empirical evidence shows that people are only motivated to a limited extent by money to increase their production in a work situation. Once employees are paid enough, other motivators take over, such as autonomy, mastery and a sense of purpose.