Steven Levitt blogs about the recent doubling of the bounty on the head of Osama bin Laden from $25 million to $50 million. He wonders about the credibility of the offer, or whether the amounts would mean anything to the expected snitches.
Here's my solution:
Offer $100 (that's one hundred dollars) to each person who is instrumental in the capture or killing of Osama Bin Laden.
$100 is a much more comprehensible and credible number, and the tipster could be assured of getting paid, even for only tangentially relevant testimony.
Or offer an entire village a new school, hospital, water treatment plant, etc.
Or, in the spirit of "Ransom!", offer $50 million today, $49 million tomorrow, and so on until the reward goes to zero.