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The economy, explained, with stories and surprises. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. That's what we're going for at <em>Planet Money</em>. People seem to like it.


#205: Allowance, Taxes And Potty Training

July 6th, 2012

Episode 492 of 964 episodes

It's really, really hard to create the right kind of economic incentives — even if you're a professional economist, and all you're trying to do is teach your kids to use the toilet.On today's Planet Money, we talk to economistJoshua Gansand his 11-year-old daughter.Gans, who wrote a book calledParentonomics, tried to create a toilet-training economy for his young children. He rewarded them with candy for sitting on the toilet — and the older ones got candy if they helped the younger ones.But, like tiny Wall-Street bankers, the kids figured out how to work the system for maximum advantage.His daughter managed to go to the bathroom every 20 minutes, all day long. For a while, she got a treat every time.She also wrung everything she could out of her brother:I realized that if I helped my brother go to the toilet, I would get rewarded, too. And I realized that the more that goes in, the more comes out. So I was just feeding my brother buckets and buckets of water.Also on the podcast: We discuss thejobs numbersthat the government reported today. And we talked about thisgraph, the most vivid illustration you'll see of how slow this recovery is.Note: Part of today's show is a rerun. It first ran inAugust, 2010.

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