Monday, September 1, 2008

Freakonomics and Reading Incentives

What incentive do kids have to read books?

Seriously.

Why read a book these days when you can watch a just-downloaded movie on your iPod? Or fire up a game of Super Monkey Ball on your iPhone? Or plop down on the LA-Z-Boy and watch the latest installment of "Dancing with the Stars?"

How do you get kids to pass up these easier, more enticing, and less mind-taxing options?

I just finished Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. The authors explain that "economics is, at root, the study of incentives" and that "the typical economist believes the world has not yet invented a problem that he cannot fix if given a free hand to design the proper incentive scheme."

As my mind is want to do, I start thinking about all this economics/incentive stuff and how it relates to getting kids to read more. The authors deftly explain that incentives come in three types: economic, moral, and social. Turn the knobs on these three types of incentives, they argue, and the economist believes that he can find the right combination to make folks do just about anything.

So how about kids and reading? Hmmmm.

Economic incentives might work: If Tiffany reads three books she gets $30, or $300, or $3,000. That could get expensive, but you could probably reach a number where Tiffany simply couldn't resist, at least until she got sufficiently rich on your unwise and costly incentive program.

Moral incentives might work: Little Kevin might read if society as a whole looked down upon kids who eschewed the book and chewed on the idiot box. What if a family felt shamed by a child who never cracked open a book? But moral incentives don't seem possible in this case, especially when the society as a whole prefers to collectively drool at the feet of "Deal of No Deal." Just not gonna happen.

Social pressure would work: This is the one knob I would suggest turning. Right now, kids who read a lot are made fun of, are teased, or called book geeks/nerds/pinheads, etc. That knob would have to be cranked back 180 degrees the other way. To me, this seems do-able. I'm not exactly sure how, but if kids by and large treated things like the latest Percy Jackson book as the must-have accessory for the Fall Season, books would be back in favor. But what's the plan? How do you make that happen? I haven't seen the show "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" but that might be a place to start—sadly, it's another ding-dang TV show!

I'll think on it. Let me know if you come up with anything—of course not until after "Deal or No Deal."

5 comments:

DharmaMike said...

I'd say the answer is advertising.

I can't recall the last time I saw an advertisement for a book for kids or teens that wasn't in a bookstore. What sense does that make?

Publishers should spend the bucks to make reading and books as hip and exciting for young people as fast food, brand name clothes, and pop music.

Unknown said...

nike huarache shoes
pandora jewelry
longchamp outlet
abercrombie & fitch
ray ban sunglasses
christian louboutin shoes
adidas trainers
kobe bryant shoes
toms shoes
louis vuitton outlet
pandora jewelry
ralph lauren polo outlet
louis vuitton
celine
cheap jordans
coach outlet
louis vuitton handbags
nike air max
ray ban sunglasses
coach outlet online
burberry outlet
toms outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
marc jacobs
replica watches
coach factory outlet
ralph lauren polo
adidas uk
true religion
adidas shoes
kate spade
insanity workout
designer handbags
ray ban
jordan 4 toro
jordan shoes
coach factory outlet
juicy couture
michael kors outlet
true religion shorts
20167.11wengdongdong

منصتك الاخبارية said...


http://www.prokr.net/2016/09/eliminate-cockroaches-6.html
http://www.prokr.net/2016/09/eliminate-cockroaches-4_12.html
http://www.prokr.net/2016/09/eliminate-cockroaches-4.html
http://www.prokr.net/2016/09/eliminate-cockroaches-3.html
http://www.prokr.net/2016/09/eliminate-cockroaches-2.html

rehabgad1 said...


Good write-up. I definitely love this site. Keep it up
https://www.tumblr.com/blog/rehabgad
https://robagad2.wixsite.com/website/blog
http://publish.lycos.com/rehabgad
http://jeddah-ads.com/
https://www.prokr.net/ksa/jeddah-water-leaks-detection-isolate-companies/

RIANA RIANA said...

ايجيبت كلينيك افضل مراكز التجميل التى تهتم بعملائها وتقدم خدماتها بعناية فائقه فخدماتنا تشمل شد ونحت وتخسيس الجسم وحقن البلازما لنضارة الوجه وازالة شعر الجسم بالليزر وزراعة الشعر.
للاستفسار والتواصل:
01025873723-01550057331
01550057332-01016363128
https://9551.home.blog/
https://clinic144.blogspot.com/
https://clinic111.weebly.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZHUX1YNHuz-XupOpxG1vyQ>