What are examples of the opposite of perverse incentives?

post by JohnGreer · 2021-06-18T16:04:44.158Z · LW · GW · 7 comments

This is a question post.

I think a lot about the importance of incentives. There are numerous historical examples of perverse incentives but what are some examples of times where people got the incentives right?


answer by antanaclasis · 2021-06-18T18:20:02.151Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I’d say a lot of domains have reasonably-aligned incentives a lot of the time, but that’s a boring non-answer. For a specific example, there’s the classic case of how whenever I go to the grocery store, I’m presented with a panoply of cheap, good quality foodstuffs available for me to purchase. The incentives along the chain from production -> store -> me are reasonably well-aligned.

comment by JohnGreer · 2021-06-23T19:33:18.821Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes, I agree that a grocery store is a great example. I suppose I'm looking for examples where people recognized a problem, changed the incentives, and then it fixed/improved things.

answer by Dagon · 2021-06-18T19:53:13.047Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigovian_tax is likely a good example - if implemented well, the incentive effect scales precisely with remediating the harm caused.

comment by JohnGreer · 2021-06-23T19:34:57.711Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes, I think Pigovian taxes are really interesting and useful. I suppose then I'm looking for examples of privately implemented Pigovian taxes that fixed a problem successfully.


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comment by Measure · 2021-06-18T19:20:04.467Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Typo in the title.

Replies from: habryka4
comment by habryka (habryka4) · 2021-06-18T19:41:21.602Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I edited it

Replies from: JohnGreer
comment by JohnGreer · 2021-06-23T19:33:36.837Z · LW(p) · GW(p)