The Power of Incentives, Monday Morning Edition
| Peter Klein |
1. The Vatican is trying incentive pay. (Prediction from Bob, Jeff, and company: performance will fall as worldly, extrinsic motivation pushes out warm, ethereal “feelings for the entity.”) (Via Luke Froeb)
2. My friend Tim Terrell reports on this new program at Wofford College:
My college recently instituted a free bicycle sharing program on campus. There was a lot of self-satisfied puffery from those responsible for the program, with even a “Blessing of the Bikes” ceremony carried out by our chaplain.
Informal polls I conducted in my classrooms indicated that the bikes are being tossed in the shrubbery, left unlocked, used as makeshift shot-puts on Fraternity Row, etc. etc. I passed one left lying on the grass, unlocked of course, on my short walk in to my office this morning. One student says he saw a vagrant in the neighborhood riding around on one. After a little over a week, another student remarked that most of the bikes were in the maintenance shop for repairs. We are now subject to a barrage of flyers, e-mail announcements, etc. pleading with students to treat the bikes well and lock them up (there is a single code to all the combination locks — want to guess how long it took people from the neighboring campus to figure out the code?).
Bob and Jeff, what happened? Surely all these opportunistic, ethically challenged students can’t be economics majors.