Social policy bonds

from the would-you-buy-it-for-a-quarter? dept.
WillWare writes "Ronnie Horesh, a New Zealand economist, has an interesting proposal he calls Social Policy Bonds. These are a bit like idea futures; they are bonds issued by a government, redeemable at a fixed high price when some measurable social goal has been attained. The bonds are initially sold or auctioned at a low price, creating a free-market incentive to fulfill the goal, while relieving the government of the burden of planning the implementation. The idea could be fully privatized, with certificates issued by individuals who would deposit the redemption price with a trusted escrow agent, redeemable upon any objective measure: discovery of a vaccine, release of an open-source program, a low infant-mortality rate in a third-world country, the opening of a homeless shelter, publication of a book, etc. There's probably a good crypto protocol for trading unforgeable e-certficates. "

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