The other day I asked if we could incent people to cross a reasonably busy freeway by growing the financial reward for doing so? For example, line 1000 people up on an interstate highway and place $5 on the other side. Some number of people, maybe zero, will try to cross to claim that $5.
Now make it $500. More people will try to cross for $500 than will try for $5.
We all agree. We get it.
In short, we know that incentives matter.
Go back to the scenario. Suppose that the financial reward for crossing the freeway became large enough that a relatively significant number of people made the attempt. And one of them was struck by a car and perished as a result.
Who is to blame?
- The driver of the car?
- The the individual creating the incentive?
- The individual who attempted to cross the freeway?