As you may have heard, Ken Griffin and his wife are funding a preschool in Chicago called the Griffin Early Childhood Center, as part of "one of the largest field experiments ever conducted in economics." The Griffin Experiment is being run by a University of Chicago professor named John List, whose goal is to determine "whether investing in teachers or, alternatively, in parents, leads to more gains in kids’ educational performance." In our capacity as an unofficial Citadel adviser, part of our job is to run due diligence on the hedge fund's investments, including background checks on the individuals to whom KG is forking over money. In the case of List, we found an interesting claim that seems to raise a red flag.
“Incentives are the pillar of economics and represent everything I’m about,” List says. “If you understand the incentives people are operating under, you have a good first guess about what they’re going to be doing in certain circumstances and how changes in the environment and/or in their institutions will influence their behavior.”
List believes so strongly in incentives that he offers his own children lottery tickets to do extra math homework, he says. He promised a daughter a trip to Disney World in exchange for her becoming potty trained. The day he made the offer, she used the toilet and was trained, he says.
Not saying this man sounds like he's lying, just saying this man sounds like he's lying.