Tag Archives: incentives

The effect of inflation on loyalty schemes

Earlier today, Sainsbury’s supermarkets sent out an email informing people that they were reducing the rate at which they would earn reward points on the Nectar scheme – halving the amount, in fact, from 2 points per pound to one per pound.  They were also removing the bonus points available for reusing carrier bags. Continue reading

When the population isn’t homogenous

A recent post at the Freakonomics website set out their plans for a changed NHS.  My opinion is that the main issue with the NHS is not to do with the demand side (which in any case is pretty tightly controlled through referrals through GPs and the NHS Direct portals) but rather the supply side (with too much spent on management, administration and inefficiency).  Leaving that aside, does the Freakonomics proposal make sense? Continue reading

The value of a New Year’s resolution

On 1 January every year, one of the most common questions asked must be: “Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?”  Why do people make resolutions only once a year?  What is special about New Year’s Day? Continue reading

Disincentivising high incomes

A 50% tax rate was introduced to the UK in April 2010, to apply to all earnings over £150,000.  This high tax rate was devised to raise additional income for the treasury by increasing the payments made by the highest earners, therefore increasing the Robin Hood effect of income tax.

However, it is likely that this higher tax rate is unlikely to increase tax receipts to the degree that the government would like.  Continue reading

Piracy and the lack of a stick

The issue of piracy on the Internet has particularly high visibility, with Wikipedia, Reddit and WordPress blacking out their sites in response to the US government’s plans for legislation to ban links to pirated material.  The key issue is that the government’s plans aren’t attacking the pirates directly, but are instead attacking anyone who runs a site which may carry or link to copyright material.  A similar issue exists in the UK, with the last government’s pressing through of the Digital Economy Act 2010; under a strict interpretation of the act, ISPs could be forced to block access to Google if it were shown to link to pirated material.  Continue reading