Behavioural bribery: the sublime and the scary

Compare and contrast:

TIME reports on the research of a Harvard economist that strongly suggests financial reward structures are a highly effective way of motivating academic performance and/or good behaviour in school-aged children. (We mentioned this last year, as it happens.)

Meanwhile, did you know there’s a “charitable” organisation in the US that offers drug addicts a cash incentive to apply for sterilisation – not of their needles, but of themselves? [via Lauren Beukes] And they’re coming to the UK, too, which is a relief – I was thinking only the other day that we just don’t have enough heavy-handed moralising in this country.

3 thoughts on “Behavioural bribery: the sublime and the scary”

  1. I have to say, I’m in favor of this. Not just for drug addicts either, cash incentives for everyone to be sterilized would be great. I just wish I could get it retroactively, since I’ve already had a vasectomy. Not sure how they would expect someone to prove they’re a drug addict though.

  2. Encouraging sterilization in desperate people does smack of eugenics, not to mention heavy-handed moralizing. But Babylon has a point: providing incentives that encourage people not to have kids would be a good thing in our overpopulated world. Here in the States, you should probably make it a tax break so that it would appeal to the rich.

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