"Certain cues can switch moral behaviour on or off," says Samuel Bowles, director of the Behavioural Sciences Program at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. "Charging for things often switches off moral behaviour."
Bowles concluded that fines can undermine a parent's sense of ethical obligation to be on time for the teachers. And lateness becomes "just another commodity" to purchase."
Guy, this chimerical creature, the 'sense of ethical obligation,' is plain nonexistent in certain people. That lever doesn't work with them. Me-firsters all the way. Oh, I could a tale unfold... In fact it's not ethics that makes people apologetic about being late, it's empathy. And some people don't have that either.
Our late parent ratio went down (from the point that staff in the pre-school section could eat out on their late fees over a month) when it was mandated that *two* staff had to stay when a child's not picked up and parents paid double. Hit 'em hard and even the goons will pay attention. Or pay, whatever.