Monetary Fine Encourage Parents to Pick Their Child Late from Daycare

Topic: How a monetary fine may influence parents propensity to pick their child late from the daycare
Researchers: Uri Gneezy (Professor of Management and Strategy, University of California, US) and Aldo Rustichini (Professor, University of Minnesota, US)
Published By: Journal of Legal Studies
Published By: 1999
Formal Reference: Uri Gneezy and Aldo Rustichini, “A Fine is a Price”, Journal of Legal Studies 29, no. 1 (January 2000)
Main Conclusion: A monetary fine increases parents late arrivals

Description of Experiment
a. Research took place in Haifa, over 20 weeks, covering 11 daycare facilities.
b. Researcher counted the number of cases when a parent was late to pick his/her child from daycare during the first 4 weeks, and found an average of 8 cases per week per daycare.
c. A ₪ 10 fine was announced for more than 10 minutes late arrivals. This fine was added to the monthly fee of. ₪
d. Results: steady increase in late arrivals which ended at about twice the number of late arrivals per week, per daycare.
e. On the 17th week of the experiment the fine was canceled, but the number of late arrivals wasn’t reduced.

The monetary fine (extrinsic negative motivator) alleviated the intrinsic moral incentive (‘not being late for the nanny who takes care of my child’), which was more powerful to begin with.
Removing the fine wasn’t helpful, because due to the fine parents already regarded the whole setting as a market-based-interaction rather than a social-interaction.
a fine is a price