Moving to

I'm moving to Mostly.

I plan to use that site as a "self-marketing website" of sorts and to manage content in a way that I would otherwise not be able to do on blogger alone.

This blog will stay, ostensibly for more provisional ideas prior to refinement. I'll be gradually moving content (I still like) over to the other website. =)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Badminton and Incentive Compatibility

I was doing my In-Camp Training this week when I read about the fiasco in Olympic badminton. I wanted to write a post about how the rules are such that they encourage bad behavior, but on coming back I found that Robert Kleinberg had already written something about the matter, titled Olympic Badminton is Not Incentive Compatible. Rather than re-work the same argument (and do so with a considerably poorer literature review), I'd like to point to his article.

At the end of his post, he wonders why shenanigans like that do not happen more in sports. I'd conjecture that advertising revenue has something to do with it. "Side payments" such as ad revenue provide subsidiary incentives to exhibit some "honor on the field". Which is probably why top teams are incentivised to be at the top of their game almost all the time. Picture perfect sporting moments bring in ad money. So it is all about payments. In sports like badminton, these payments are not substantial enough to detract from strategic skiving.

Disrepute aside, this is a wonderful example of how poor non-incentive compatible institutions generate bad outcomes for society.

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