The Ethics of Incentives
This article was published in Radio National 31 March 2012
The term ‘incentives’ was introduced in America in the early twentieth century and soon became a universal term often associated with political policies or as a way to encourage us to choose a particular product or plan.
But how ethical is the use of incentives? Does the justice system benefit for example from plea bargaining? How does teaching young children the correct way to behave through incentives influence their long term development?
Ruth Grant discusses some of the examples she features in Strings Attached: Untangling the Ethics of Incentives.