Incentives to persevere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Achieving success often requires persistent effort. We study the effectiveness of two reward mechanisms, all-or-nothing and piece-rate, to incentivize full completion of repeated tasks over time. Our theoretical analysis shows that exogenously imposing the all-or-nothing mechanism can be ineffective due to the potential discouragement effect. In contrast, empowering individuals to choose between the two reward mechanisms can significantly improve the full completion rate. Data from a series of field experiments and follow-up replications provide robust evidence that the all-or-nothing mechanism is effective only when it is presented as an option. Our results highlight the importance of choice in incentivizing persistent effort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5378–5393
Number of pages16
JournalManagement Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • Perseverance
  • Incentives
  • Self-control
  • Field experiments

Cite this