Incentivized experiments in which individuals receive monetary rewards according to the outcomes of their decisions are regarded as the gold standard for preference elicitation in experimental economics. These task-related real payments are considered necessary to reveal subjects’ “true preferences.” Using a systematic, large-sample approach with three subject pools of private investors, professional investors, and students, we test the effect of task-related monetary incentives on risk preferences in four standard experimental tasks. We find no significant differences in behavior between and within subjects in the incentivized and non-incentivized regimes. We discuss implications for academic research and forions in the field.
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Vol. 66, pp. 189–213, 2023