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Strings AttachedUntangling the Ethics of Incentives$
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Ruth W. Grant

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151601

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151601.001.0001

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Applying Standards, Making Judgments

Applying Standards, Making Judgments

(p.60) Chapter Five Applying Standards, Making Judgments
Strings Attached

Ruth W. Grant

Princeton University Press

This chapter takes up the problem of making practical judgments: how to apply abstract standards in practice. In addition to evaluating any incentive against the three basic standards, there is a need to look at its context and alternatives. There is no “rule of thumb” that can be applied without consideration of the circumstances. Examples from medicine, business, education, government, and so forth show what sorts of questions need to be asked in particular cases. These include the following: Which of the standards is most important in this case? Does the incentive work better than the alternatives? Is it fair? Does the incentive mask accountability? Is this a case of undue influence?

Keywords:   incentives, practical judgment, standards, accountability, undue influence

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