Carrots or Sticks? Handicapped Parking Edition
I’m convinced that shame can in many cases provide stronger incentives than a monetary penalty uncertainly enforced. At a parking place in Luxembourg, the sign on the handicapped parking places reads: “Here is parking for a very handicapped person or a very inconsiderate (unscrupulous) person.” This might motivate a lot of people better than a $50 fine should they happen to get caught parking there.
A similar motivation would have been provided by an economics journal, if my advice had been followed. The editors were proposing an experiment in which they would one year publish names of the fastest referees, and even give a prize to fast referees who provided excellent reports. I suggested that they instead publish the names of the delinquent referees. Sadly, and wrongly in my view, they refused.