Carrots and Sticks: Unlock the Power of Incentives to Get Things Done

Could you lose weight if you put $20,000 at risk? Would you finally set up your billing software if it meant that your favorite charity would earn a new contribution? If you’ve ever tried to meet a goal and come up short, the problem may be that you didn’t have the proper incentives. Let’s use the lessons learned from behavioral economics to understand the concept of “commitment contracts”: an easy but high powered strategy for setting and achieving goals. This strategy can give you the impetus to meet your own goals, and can also be used to motivate employees, stick to a budget, finish a project. A fascinating tour through the ways that work–and those that don’t–when we attempt to change human behavior.

Speaker Details

Ian Ayres is an econometrician and lawyer, and is the William K. Townsend Professor at Yale Law School. He is a regular commentator on NPR’s “Marketplace”, columnist for Forbes Magazine, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently the editor of the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization. Ayres has published nine books and over 100 articles on topics of politics, negotiation, diversity and economics.

Ian Ayres
William K. Townsend Professor
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