Incentives Matter

Towards the end of the 18th century, England began sending convicts to Australia. The transportation was privately provided but publicly funded. A lot of convicts died along the way, from disease due to overcrowding, poor nutrition and little or no medical treatment.

Between 1790 and 1792, 12% of the convicts died, to the dismay of many good-hearted English men and women who thought that banishment to Australia shouldn’t be a death sentence. On one ship 37% perished.

“The government decided to pay the captains a bonus for each convict that walked off the boat in Australia alive.” How might captains be convinced to take better care of their human cargo?

Read the full article at The Library of Economics and Liberty

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