Apparently, paying people cash to do things they should be doing—like attending school, keeping a job, and going to the dentist—isn’t all that effective.
A New York City program that gave cash incentives for such behavior didn’t work as planned, and so the days of high school students getting as much as $600 to pass a Regents exam are over. From the NY Times:
An unusual and much-heralded program that gave poor families cash to encourage good behavior and self-sufficiency has so far had only modest effects on their lives and economic situation, according to an analysis the Bloomberg administration released on Tuesday.
The three-year-old pilot project, the first of its kind in the country, gave parents payments for things like going to the dentist ($100) or holding down a full-time job ($150 per month). Children were rewarded for attending school regularly ($25 to $50 per month) or passing a high school Regents exam ($600).