I'm looking for a reading recommendation on the topic of perverse incentives, especially incentives that cause people to do unethical things. Yes, I checked "The Best Textbooks on Every Subject" thread and have recorded all the economics recommendations of interest. However, as interested as I am in reading about economics in general, my specific focus is on perverse incentives, especially ones that cause people to do unethical things. I was wondering if anyone has explored this in depth or happens to know a term for "perverse incentives that cause people to do unethical things", (regardless of whether it's part of economics or some other subject), as I can't seem to find one.

Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths And Total Nonsense: Profiting From Evidence-Based Management has a fair amount about the limits of incentive plans.

From memory: incentives can work for work that's well-defined and can be done by one person. Otherwise, the result is people gaming the system and not cooperating with each other.

I don't remember whether the book covered something I heard about in the 70s or 80s about a car company which had incentives for teams assembling cars rather than an assembly line.

I was told about a shop owned by partners which had a... (read more)

-1shminux7yFor example...?

Open thread, July 29-August 4, 2013

by David_Gerard 1 min read29th Jul 2013390 comments


If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post (even in Discussion), then it goes here.

Of course, for "every Monday", the last one should have been dated July 22-28. *cough*