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The Cobra Effect - Politics - Nairaland

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The Cobra Effect by Nobody: 7:36pm On Jun 14

Have you heard about the “Cobra Effect?” If not, it’s time that you learn about it.

The Cobra Effect is a term in economics. It refers to a situation when an attempted solution to a problem makes the problem worse. This name was coined based on an incident in old colonial India:

"By some reasons, there were too many venomous cobra snakes in Delhi. People were dying due to snake-bites and it became scary for almost everyone to step out of their houses."

"The government of the day had to get into action to stop this menace and it offered a silver coin for every dead cobra. The results were great, a large number of snakes were killed for the reward."

"Eventually, however, it led to some serious unwanted consequences. After a short-term dip in cobra population, it started going up. This was because few people began to breed cobras for the income."

"When the news reached the government, the reward program was scrapped, causing the cobra breeders to set the now-worthless snakes free. As a result, the cobra population further increased. The solution for the problem made the situation even worse."

"The unintended consequence for a well-intention-ed idea led to making the problem worst."




Well, it’s time to pause and think about how people would respond to the new idea that may sound great on paper! Specially the solutions that try to affect how people behave.

There’s always a certain group of people who have a tendency to game the system -intentionally or otherwise. They have a tendency to take short-term advantage of any situation though that may lead to harm to them & society-at-large only in the long run.

Every solution has consequences and those consequences may lead to certain situations where rather than solving a current problem, you may end up with more complex problems.


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