But be careful because nothing backfires quite like a bountythis is a story filled. Just offer a cash reward.
When you want to get rid of a nasty pest one obvious solution comes to mind.
Cobra effect example. Yes you were hot before and now the tops of your arms are cool but youre also a guy wearing a cut off shirt and thats horrible. That metaphor doesnt completely encapsulate the socio economic implications of the cobra effect but hopefully after you read this list of the most ironic examples of the cobra effect youll be on board. The term cobra effect originated in an anecdote set at the time of british rule of colonial indiathe british government was concerned about the number of venomous cobra snakes in delhi.
The government therefore offered a bounty for every dead cobra. Initially this was a successful strategy as large numbers of snakes were killed for the reward. Systems thinking and the cobra effect.
Ecosystems sustainability governance. For example it would be a significant step forward if all decision makers recognised the potential for balancing feedback structures to cause the well known phenomenon of policy resistance where people push on a system and the. In december 2010 the website wikileaks was the subject of dos attacks and rejection from isps as a consequence of the united states cable leaks.
People sympathetic to wikileaks cause voluntarily mirrored the website in order to. The cobra effect occurs when a solution actually worsens the problem it is trying to solve. Named for a bounty program that went awry in colonial india there are many examples of incentives leading to more of the very thing that should be reduced.
Unintended consequences happen so often that economists call them cobra problems after a famous historic example. In colonial india delhi suffered a proliferation of cobras. To cut the number of cobras the local government placed a bounty on them.
Can you guess what happened. Heard of cobra effect. Be careful what you ask for.
There is this funny story about the cobra effect based on an anecdote from british colonial time in delhi. For example by cutting expenditures on brand building research and development and employee training. The cobra effect is hard to foresee before hand and appears quite often in the investing world.
And that is what i am here to talk about today. If we took a high level tour of the greatest investing blunders of all time i would argue that they all suffered from the cobra effect. Our latest freakonomics radio podcast is called the cobra effect downloadsubscribe at itunes get the rss feed listen via the media player in the post or read the transcript below the gist.