Creativity Under Fire: The Effects of Competition on Creative Production

Journal Article (Academic article)

Though fundamental to innovation and essential to many industries and occupations, individual creativity has received limited attention as an economic behavior and has historically proven difficult to study. This paper studies the incentive effects of competition on individuals' creative production. Using a sample of commercial logo design competitions and a novel, content-based measure of originality, I find that intensifying competition induces agents to produce original, untested ideas over tweaking their earlier work, but heavy competition drives them to stop investing altogether. The results yield lessons for the management of creative workers and the implementation of competitive procurement mechanisms for innovation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gross, DP

Published Date

  • June 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 102 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 583 - 599

Published By

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1530-9142

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0034-6535

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1162/rest_a_00831

Language

  • en