What motivates employees? Economists have emphasized pay as the primary incentive, while recognizing that there may be “compensating differentials” for aspects of the work that are pleasant or unpleasant.
In recent years many non-economists, such as Daniel Pink in Drive, have emphasized non-pecuniary incentives.
Joe Paterno entered the debate at age 83, after he became the first major college coach to win 400 games on November 6, 2010.
Right after the victory, he was interviewed on the field by “Heather” of ESPN. Starting at 1:33 seconds into the clip referenced below, here is the key dialogue:
Heather: “Coach Paterno, what has motivated you to get to this point?”
Paterno: “Oh geez, I don’t know—gettin’ paid.”
Source: YouTube clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQzdVeYtm5w
(Note: the clip was posted on 11/6/10 by shellymic and has the title “Joe Pa FIRST to 400 Wins!”)