Motivating innovation is important in many incentive problems. This paper shows that the optimal innovation-motivating incentive scheme exhibits substantial tolerance (or even reward) for early failure and reward for long-term success. Moreover, commitment to a long-term compensation plan, job security, and timely feedback on performance are essential to motivate innovation. In the context of managerial compensation, the optimal innovation-motivating incentive scheme can be implemented via a combination of stock options with long vesting periods, option repricing, golden parachutes, and managerial entrenchment.
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