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Having recently read Freakonomics I was particularly interested by the idea of the responses of a community to incentives - as an example, the tale of a school which tried to introduce a financial penalty for picking up children late, which inadvertently had the opposite effect, as it nullified the previously existing (but largely invisible) social penalty.

Is there a general theory for this kind of interaction of incentives with community? If so, what is its name, and where could I read more about it? I'm interested in books and papers on a variety of levels, from popular accounts (à la Freakonomics) to textbooks to research papers.

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This is pretty much all economics. Just depends on the scope of your community (localized, national, firms, individuals, etc.), and the incentives (prices, taxes, interest rates, punishments, etc.). I suspect what you're looking for would be contained in the broadly-defined category of applied microeconomics, but unless you can better articulate what exactly it is that you want, I'm not sure how much help anyone can be. –  prototoast Mar 25 '12 at 16:21
    
@prototoast, yes. And you could throw in parts of sociology and political science as well. –  Michael Bishop Apr 25 '12 at 16:49
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migrated to cogsci.stackexchange.com by EnergyNumbers, Chad, Jason B May 1 '12 at 12:58

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