January 24, 2013

Gamifying public policy

Posted by: in Things To Watch

Ahead of its budget announcement Feb. 25, the Singapore government is appealing to the competitive nature of its residents to push them to better understand the nation state’s budget process and fiscal policies—via a weekly online quiz, open to any resident. Questions range from the simple, such as when Singapore’s fiscal year starts/ends, to more complex details of social programs, subsidies and tax policies. Example: What is the objective of an Avoidance of Double Taxation agreement (DTA)? (Answer: To minimize tax barriers to the flows of trade, investment, technical know-how and expertise between treaty partners.)

Explanations are given after each answer is submitted. Participants can make as many attempts as they like, and as of mid-January, more than 300 have achieved perfect scores. In this affluent nation, they’re clearly not motivated by the prizes: Each week, 10 perfect scorers win $16 each. Winners in the final quiz get $160 each. —Geri Kan

Image credit: singaporebudget.gov.sg

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