Chile mine rescue exceeds expectations. Was that orchestrated?
Did the Chilean government officials deliberately create low expectations of their ability to rescue the miners, so that they could later exceed them?
This article about the Chilean miner rescue has a revealing quote. "McAteer said he gave "very high marks" to the Chileans (government officials) for creating lowered expectations by saying that it might take until Christmas to rescue the men — and then consistently delivering results ahead of schedule."Skip to next paragraph
Mathew is an economics professor at UCLA and has written three books: Green Cities (Brookings Institution Press); Heroes and Cowards (Princeton University Press, jointly with Dora L. Costa); and in fall 2010, Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter World (Basic Books).
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Now keep in mind that Davitt McAteer directed the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration during the Clinton administration.
Mr. McAteer appears to believe in behavioral economics. In his view, a good government official lies to the people to calm them down by providing misinformation and then once they expect nothing -- you surprise the people with an unexpectedly strong performance.
This raises at least two questions. 1. What is the best behavioral econonomics work documenting this effect? 2. Does our government actually follow this policy? Are there any unintended consequences of following such a "let's lower expectations" strategy?
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