ETYM Latin incentivum.
A positive motivational influence; SYN. inducement.
In economics, a measure that persuades economic agents to adopt a particular course of action. For example, it can be argued that lower income-tax rates provide an incentive for people to work harder. Higher indirect taxes on alcohol provide a disincentive for people to drink. An incentive scheme, where an employer will offer a bonus to staff who achieve a certain target, is a way of motivating workers.