Advertisement

More Nonsense and Less Happiness: The Uninteded Effects of Artificial Competitions

  • Mathias BinswangerEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Happiness Studies Book Series book series (HAPS)

Abstract

Although modern economies are market economies, several important goods and services are provided outside the market system. This is especially the case in education, science or health care, where a free market does do not work or where its outcome is not considered to be socially beneficial. However, since only competition seems to guarantee efficiency, governments increasingly induce artificial competitions in order to “motivate” scientists, teachers, doctors or nurses to do a good job even if there is no market. But these artificial competitions do not enhance efficiency. Instead they lead to the production of nonsense. This can be explained as follows. On a functioning market, producers of goods and services have an incentive to meet the needs of consumers, as this maximizes their profits. But in artificial competitions without markets people’s needs do not matter. Instead, these competitions induce providers to maximize some measurable outcome, which nobody ever demanded.

Keywords

Customer Satisfaction Intrinsic Motivation Relevant Performance Measurable Indicator Perverse Incentive 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Bartlett W, Le Grand J (1993) The theory of quasi-markets. In: Le Grand J, Bartlett W (eds) Quasi-markets and social policy. Macmillan Press, London, pp 13–34Google Scholar
  2. Binswanger M (2006) Die Tretmühlen des Glücks. Herder Verlag, FreiburgGoogle Scholar
  3. Binswanger M (2010) Sinnlose Wettbewerbe. Warum wir immer mehr Unsinn produzieren. Herder Verlag, FreiburgGoogle Scholar
  4. Campbell DT (1976) Assessing the impact of planned social change. Occasional papers series, paper #8. Public Affairs Center, Dartmouth College, HanoverGoogle Scholar
  5. Campbell S (2009) Improvement of clinical quality in English primary care before and after the introduction of a pay for performance scheme. PowerPoint presented at National Primary Care Research and Development Centre, University of Manchester, UKGoogle Scholar
  6. Deci EL, Koestner R, Ryan RM (1999) A meta-analytic review of experiments examining the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. Psychol Bull 125:627–668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fast N, Berg N (1975) The Lincoln electric company. Harvard Business School Case 376-028Google Scholar
  8. Leber H (2007) Chancengleichheit fördert ungleiche Einkommen. FAZ, 28 Dec 2007Google Scholar
  9. Lenin W (1961) Werke Band 26, September 1917—Februar 1918. Dietz Verlag, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  10. Lotter W (2008) Die neue Leistung. Brand Eins, pp 50–57Google Scholar
  11. Meyer MW, Gupta V (1994) The performance paradox. Res Organ Behav 16:309–369Google Scholar
  12. Nullmeier F (2000a) Politische Theorie des Sozialstaates. Campus Verlag, FrankfurtGoogle Scholar
  13. Nullmeier F (2000b) “Mehr Wettbewerb!” Zur Marktkonstitution in der Hochschulpolitik. In: Czada R, Lütz S (eds) Die Politische Konstitution von Märkten, Opladen, pp 209–227Google Scholar
  14. Rosa H (2006) Wettbewerb als Interaktionsmodus. Kulturelle und sozialstrukturelle Konsequenzen der Konkurrenzgesellschaft. Leviathan 34(1):82–104Google Scholar
  15. Rosen S (1988) Promotions, elections and other contests. J Inst Theor Econ 144:73–90Google Scholar
  16. Smith A (1759[1984]) The theory of moral sentiments. Liberty Fund, GlasgowGoogle Scholar
  17. Smith P (1995) On the unintended consequences of publishing performance data in the public sector. Int J Publ Adm 18:277–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sprenger R (2002) Mythos motivation. Campus Verlag, FrankfurtGoogle Scholar
  19. UBS (2005) Verwaltungsmanagement. Impulse zur Unternehmensführung, UBS OutlookGoogle Scholar
  20. van Thiel S, Leeuw FL (2002) The performance paradox in the public sector. Publ Prod Manag Rev 25(3):267–281Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Competitiveness and CommunicationSchool of Business of the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern SwitzerlandOltenSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations