Understanding the Motives of Older Adults: A Survey-based Experiment
FieldOrganizations and Markets
Date and time
August 21, 2019
14:30 - 15:30
I examine the role of monetary and prosocial incentives in older adults’ willingness to participate in productive activities. In a survey-based experiment, I create hypothetical productive activities where I manipulate the organization type, payment levels, and the presence of colleagues. While payment and prosocial organization types are important to attract the older adults, the payment becomes less relevant with non-profit organizations. To test the dynamic motives, I also examine the effect of these incentives on the work motives of older adults. Results suggest that in the context of activity choice, motives are not influenced by the pecuniary and non-pecuniary attributes. Therefore, I conclude my analysis by showing the moderating role of motives on the activity attributes. While those with low financial motive scores are less willing to participate in for-profit organizations, they are also less responsive to the increase in the payment level than those with higher financial motive scores. Although, generativity-moral motive does not moderate the effects of any activity attributes in a statistically significant manner, donation, another proxy for prosocial motives, significantly moderates the activity traits. These results suggest that prosocial activities in companies might be an important tool to attract older adults who have other-regarding preferences and for whom financial matters do not play a big role.