What Motivates Us?

Prof. Mario Villarreal-Diaz claims that incentives matter, especially in a world of scarcity. Market prices, for instance, are a very powerful incentive. When the price of a good rises, consumers look for substitutes or ways to economize. Producers, on the other hand, look to increase output. When the price of a good falls, consumers will purchase more of it and producers will look for ways to cut back production.

Economists tend to focus on monetary incentives, but acknowledge that these incentives are not the only ones that matter. The world is populated with billions of unique individuals who are all motivated by different things. People are motivated by reputation, love, time, etc…
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