The core issue is: incentives matter.
People are driven by incentives. Not just money, but also intangible rewards like information, recognition and time. Bureaucracies don’t make change – people do!
Take a clear-eyed look at our foundering socioeconomic system. It reveals that we often fail to reward the right things. Sometimes we even reward the wrong things.
- We fail to reward our best and brightest for entering the teaching profession, and we fail to reward teachers for what matters most: good classroom outcomes
- We pay health care providers according to how many procedures they perform, leading to unnecessary tests and services, rather than for delivering better patient outcomes at lower costs
- We fund an unemployment system that does not precisely and quickly identify what is needed to help individuals get a job or keep one
Change incentives, change behavior. With the right incentives more patients will get the most cost-effective treatments, more students will be taught by excellent teachers, and more people will get back to work.
Incentives can address our nation’s most complicated problems, enabling astonishing innovation to spread and be a driving force for lasting, positive change.
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On April 13-14, 2008, Hope Street Group convened 40 business, civic, and political leaders to develop an economic "opportunity agenda" for the next president of the United States.