What's works best? The carrot or the stick?
This time of the year, just about all of France takes to their cars, caravans and motorcycles and head South for their vacation. The resulting traffic jams and heated exchanges do little to counter the commonly held view that France has some of the craziest drivers going.
But some officials hope that’s going to change.
Instead of scanning the road for bad drivers, however, traffic police are scanning one major route for motorists who are obeying the rules of the road, being courteous and managing to keep their cell phones out of their hands at the same time.
They're pulling over these good drivers at random and handing them gas vouchers worth more than 50 euros (around $60).
Will it work? Probably not, suggests Rags Srinivasan who writes the very clever Iterative Path blog.While French, and many other Europeans, go a little mad where their summer vacation is concerned, offering them cash is not going to get the job done.
When it comes to changing behaviour sticks are better nudges than carrots, he says. The gain of $60 gas voucher is not as intense as the pain from losing $60 (or more) to traffic tickets.
In the same way, hitting shoppers with a 5 cent charge per plastic bag is much more likely to get them to bring their own bags than if there were simply given a credit for each bag.Decision making on these types of issues is influenced by three key elements: What’s it worth to me? Is it the right thing to do? Will I be punished somehow if I act this way?
Do you respond to the carrot or the stick? What does it take for you to change your behaviour?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
Posted by: Steve | Aug 3, 2021 10:51:06 AM
"hitting shoppers with a 5 cent charge per plastic bag is much more likely to get":
Them to shop somewhere else or online. I myself have quit shopping at stores that care so little for their customers they try to scr3w them over a 1 cent shopping bag that is covered with the stores advertisements.
Seriously, how stupid can some retailers be? It has taken decades of market research to prove the benefits of providing your customers with something to carry their purchases with while advertising your store & you're going to give that up to appease a lunatic fringe of eco-nut jobs who can't get a recycling program together?
This is what happens when you hire the prettiest candidate & not the most intelligent candidates to run your operations. Is it any wonder this is the worst recession since the 1930's?
The Stick worked well for Stalin, Mao, Castro, Kim Jung ILL... oh, no... wait... on second thought the stick 'might not' be the best approach.
Posted by: another guy | Aug 3, 2021 12:56:27 PM
fact is some people are so reluctant to change (even if it's for their own benefit) that the "stick" is absolutely necessary.
remember before there were fines for littering??
streets have far less garbage blowing around than they did before the fines. people did whine and complain about the fines, pointing fingers at those rotten eco-nuts even back then!?! (because, as we all know, a garbage problem did not exist. nor did pollution. or cancer-causing cigs. all the list of "don't hassle me, my head is up my @rse, everything is AOK" items)
Posted by: Lisa | Aug 3, 2021 3:35:13 PM
Talk about eco-friendly...and I agree with the first person here...why aren't we going back to paper bags that we had say...30-40 years ago??? I just don't get it. They were definitely eco-friendly. They were very durable. (They could be packed to the top in a grocery store, with heavy items too!) And...lastly...if you DID want to throw them out...they WERE biodegradable. (Not that the term "biodegradable" was present back then. So...why did we ever go to plastic??? The more I think about it...maybe we were more eco-friendly 30-40 years ago then we are now.
Honestly, I think the real problem is that the clerk at the till doesn't want to actually work for a living. I find that most times that I shop now, they expect the customer to pack. Maybe the "plastic bag" is the diversion? Just a thought.
Posted by: john | Aug 4, 2021 12:19:15 PM
paper bags come from trees. with countless millions of consumers lining up every week for bags only to throw them away after a single use....that is hardly eco-friendly.
paper bags may be strong, but i highly doubt they are as durable/strong as the material bags that are available. certainly a paper bag could not be re-used, let's say, the 30 some odd times i've used the same material bags.
it is no secret how big business works nowadays, lisa. there are more profits to be had if a company understaffs and overworks their employees. this is old news. and let's not forget the ever-popular pension and wage freezes/clawbacks and it's result on employee moral. if you want some one who is truly pleased with the grocery business, then arrange for one of the shareholders to pack your bag. lol
at any rate, making the leap from plastic bag use to employee bashing is...well....skipping the fact that the employees you are talking about do not have anything to do with corporate decisions such as gouging consumers for plastic bags that were long ago factored into the price of groceries. (we are being double-charged in effect). nor do they decide one person at the till is better than 3 people at 3 tills.
it's kind of like blaming the tim horton's employee for the price of gas at the gas station. i mean, come on. some comments' lack of common sense might be seen as diversionary......
Posted by: Lisa | Aug 5, 2021 2:16:02 PM
Actually John, paper bags are VERY eco-friendly. They come from trees. Trees we can grow. Plastic, lets NOT mention where that comes from. Secondly, I was never disputing that material bags are good...I have a few myself. lol However, if I forget my bag, one day, why the heck should I have to pay for one at the store?? (I think I already pay out enough in taxes.)
Back to the paper bags...can you follow me???...the paper bags of 25-30 years ago were very good, strong and sturdy and well made. Right now, I"m wondering if you're old enough to know what I"m talking about. However, I remember going to the grocery store and all they had was paper bags and they worked VERY well, and yes, we "recycled" them in our family...even though, at the time, we didn't know what "recycling" was. lol Actually, 30 years ago, things, everything lasted ALOT longer than they do today. That's actually a well known fact with anyone 40 and older.
As for my "employee bashing"...as you like to call it...if you can follow me here...my belief is that everything is cyclical. Actually, I believe YOU made a bigger issue out of that comment then I did.
As for your comment about gas prices...I have to reply to this...as you seem to be a typical guy that doesn't string anything together in your head. I'm not worried at all about gas prices. Why??
As soon as the economy gets THAT bad...the government will force prices to come down. Why??
Well, if noone is driving, we really ARE in trouble. The gov't knows this. They won't stop us from driving. By the way...any other absurd questions john???
Posted by: john | Aug 5, 2021 6:54:59 PM
completely missed my points, lisa.
the material bag is better than a paper bag in every regard. go back in time for those magic paper bags, because no business is going to supply them nowadays. they are cost-prohibitive. hence, the reason they all switched to plastic (cheaper to produce).
the clerk that serves you does not have anything to do with store policy. i'm not talking about the gas, the government or anything you are mentioning. i am talking that person's job in the context of the big picture.
if a person cannot wrap their head around these simple facts, then it is hardly any surprise that the same person is going to be more concerned with paying 5cents for a bag than they are going to be concerned about the environment.
perhaps what makes my questions absurd to you, lisa, is the fact that i did not ask any questions.
Posted by: Lisa | Aug 6, 2021 11:08:38 AM
You also completely missed my points. Isn't that funny.
I also realized you weren't asking any questions...you were just slashing me down as much as you could over simple brown bags and a few complaints over cashiers. Please don't take those 2 statements too literally or we will have a whole other discussion. lol
And...to someone who ISN'T concerned about JUST 5 cents...you either have alot of money (and that is relative also, don't forget) or alot of debt. (I hope for your sake it's "alot of money.")
Trust me though...ask a family who is growing up poor...if you add that 5 cents up at the end of the month...it can go a VERY long way to them. So John, if you DO have that extra 5 cents...PLEASE give it to your local charity...they will thank you HUGELY for it. Best regards.
Posted by: Lisa | Aug 6, 2021 11:29:57 AM
Actually, my main point...in the very beginning was that things actually WEREN'T THAT bad 30 (or more) years ago. NOW...you have high taxes AND poor service AND you have to pay for things that were FREE many moons ago. However, you sound young, and you have a good job. So, why would you care if you have to pay a few extra cents?? It's just another SMALL glitch in your day.
THAT is my point. Enough of this subject now with someone who is wrapped up in how smart he is.
Posted by: john | Aug 7, 2021 6:38:15 PM
clearly, your feelings have been bruised. you are not replying to my posts, you are reacting.
as a result, you have managed to misconstrue any of my points/ideas.
and your character analysis of myself is....sublime.