Contracts and convicts: how perverse incentives created the death fleet After Australia's First Fleet came the second fleet. Due to contract issues, many people died. (via @smurray38) [more inside]
The Inevitable Evolution of Bad Science "Now, imagine you’re a researcher who wants to game this system. Here’s what you do. Run many small and statistically weak studies. Tweak your methods on the fly to ensure positive results. If you get negative results, sweep them under the rug. Never try to check old results; only pursue new and exciting ones. These are not just flights of fancy. We know that such practices abound."
The Incentive Bubble (ungated pdf) - "The fraying of the compact of American capitalism by rising income inequality and repeated governance crises is disturbing. But misallocations of financial, real, and human capital arising from the financial-incentive bubble are much more worrisome to those concerned with the competitiveness of the American economy." [more inside]
Life after Capitalism - Beyond capitalism, it seems, stretches a vista of... capitalism: [more inside]
Inducement Prizes -- Best known for the Ansari X Prize, the DARPA Grand Challenge and the Clay Mathematics Millennium Problems, inducement prizes have a long history, but their recent successes have led to increased government interest, viz. challenge.gov, and resulted in the development of vaccines, thanks in large part to the work of Michael Kremer.* [more inside]
Please take your meds. Here's some cell minutes if you do. Or hmm, how about a chance for $10 or $100 if you take your meds? No? Well fine - it's your funeral, and then maybe we can just give you a lil somethin to take those organs off your hands. [more inside]
A court in the Netherlands has awarded damages to a severely disabled girl for having been born -- a so-called "wrongful life" judgment. While we discussed French suits like this a while back (1 2), this decision seems noteworthy because it allows the child herself to receive damages, not just the parents who must pay for her care. In my mind, that opens up a whole new can of worms, both in terms of the message it sends and the incentives for doctors that it creates.