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Go Public

Go Public - Stories of Government Getting It Done


From the Writers and Editors of Governing and Government Technology | 

Mar 8, 2018

There are lots of things governments do to nudge citizens toward making certain decisions. Whether it’s getting parents to vaccinate their kids, trying to get residents to reduce their energy consumption or persuading high schoolers to enroll in college, governments try to guide citizen behavior in a certain way on a whole host of issues.

But what if the nudge doesn’t work? What if it’s not enough to encourage citizens to take a certain action -- even when that action is in their own best interest?

In a small but growing number of cases, some governments have taken the controversial next step of actually paying citizens to make good decisions. These places are reimbursing residents for doing something that -- in theory -- they ought to be doing anyway. That’s the situation the state of Alabama found itself in during a health crisis a few years ago.

It’s an unconventional idea, but it’s one that’s slowly catching on in governments across the United States. Governing Health Writer Mattie Quinn and Executive Editor Zach Patton talk about it on this episode of "Go Public."

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