Bounty (reward)  

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"A classic example of a perverse incentive occurred when the British government in India offered a bounty for dead cobras with intent to decrease the wild cobra population. However, enterprising people began to breed cobras for the income. When the government became aware of this, the reward program was scrapped, causing the cobra breeders to set the now-worthless snakes free. As a result, the wild cobra population further increased. The term cobra effect was coined to describe a situation where an attempted solution to a problem actually makes the problem worse."--Sholem Stein

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A bounty (from Latin bonitās, goodness) is a payment or reward often offered by a group as an incentive for the accomplishment of a task by someone usually not associated with the group. Bounties are most commonly issued for the capture or retrieval of a person or object. They are typically in the form of money. By definition bounties can be retracted at any time by whomever issued them. Two modern examples of bounties are the bounty placed for the capture of Saddam Hussein and his sons by the United States and Microsoft's bounty for computer virus creators. Those who make a living by pursuing bounties are known as bounty hunters.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Bounty (reward)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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