Josh Albrecht wrote: > I think that people would contribute unpaid bandwidth to the network > for the same reason that they do now (altruism), especially if it were > the default setting (how many people really change the defaults?). > However, I see the incentives (bandwidth/monetary) as important to get > lots more people using Tor in the first place, which would hopefully > increase the total amount of free/unpaid bandwidth available through > the network. Introducing a paid option would probably drive non-paid volunteers away. That's because of the "Crowding-out Effect" which says that efforts to motivate people extrinsically (through money) will often demotivate people whose motivation is intrinsic ("doing what is right" or" doing something for the sake of it"). See, for example, Yochai Benkler, "The Wealth of Networks" (Yale University Press, 2006), p. 93-95: A number of scholars, primarily in psychology and economics, have attempted to resolve this question [why the British all-volunteer based blood donor system worked much better than the old American payment-based one] both empirically and theoretically. The most systematic work within economics is that of Swiss economist Bruno Frey and various collaborators, building on the work of psychologist Edward Deci. A simple statement of this model is that individuals have intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Extrinsic motivations are imposed on individuals from the outside. They take the form of either offers of money for, or prices imposed on, behavior, or threats of punishment or reward from a manager or a judge for complying with, or failing to comply with, specifically prescribed behavior. Intrinsic motivations are reasons for action that come from within the person, such as pleasure or personal satisfaction. Extrinsic motivations are said to "crowd out" intrinsic motivations because they (a) impair self-determination--that is, people feel pressured by an external force, and therefore feel overjustified in maintaining their intrinsic motivation rather than complying with the will of the source of the extrinsic reward; or (b) impair self-esteem--they cause individuals to feel that their internal motivation is rejected, not valued, and as a result, their self-esteem is diminished, causing them to reduce effort. Intuitively, this model relies on there being a culturally contingent notion of what one "ought" to do if one is a well-adjusted human being and member of a decent society. Being offered money to do something you know you "ought" to do, and that self-respecting members of society usually in fact do, implies that the person offering the money believes that you are not a well-adjusted human being or an equally respectable member of society. This causes the person offered the money either to believe the offerer, and thereby lose self-esteem and reduce effort, or to resent him and resist the offer. A similar causal explanation is formalized by Roland Benabou and Jean Tirole, who claim that the person receiving the monetary incentives infers that the person offering the compensation does not trust the offeree to do the right thing, or to do it well of their own accord. The offeree's self-confidence and intrinsic motivation to succeed are reduced to the extent that the offeree believes that the offerer--a manager or parent, for example--is better situated to judge the offeree's abilities. More powerful than the theoretical literature is the substantial empirical literature--including field and laboratory experiments, econometrics, and surveys--that has developed since the mid-1990s to test the hypotheses of this model of human motivation. Across many different settings, researchers have found substantial evidence that, under some circumstances, adding money for an activity previously undertaken without price compensation reduces, rather than increases, the level of activity. The work has covered contexts as diverse as the willingness of employees to work more or to share their experience and knowledge with team members, of communities to accept locally undesirable land uses, or of parents to pick up children from day-care centers punctually. The results of this empirical literature strongly suggest that across various domains some displacement or crowding out can be identified between monetary rewards and nonmonetary motivations. This does not mean that offering monetary incentives does not increase extrinsic rewards--it does. Where extrinsic rewards dominate, this will increase the activity rewarded as usually predicted in economics. However, the effect on intrinsic motivation, at least sometimes, operates in the opposite direction. Where intrinsic motivation is an important factor because pricing and contracting are difficult to achieve, or because the payment that can be offered is relatively low, the aggregate effect may be negative. Persuading experienced employees to communicate their tacit knowledge to the teams they work with is a good example of the type of behavior that is very hard to specify for efficient pricing, and therefore occurs more effectively through social motivations for teamwork than through payments. Negative effects of small payments on participation in work that was otherwise volunteer-based are an example of low payments recruiting relatively few people, but making others shift their efforts elsewhere and thereby reducing, rather than increasing, the total level of volunteering for the job. Because of the Crowding-out Effect, systems tend to work best if either "everybody is paid" (of the people doing a certain job, e.g. contributing bandwidth), or else "nobody is paid." You cannot have it both ways. Best regards Christian -- |-------- Dr. Christian Siefkes --------- christian@xxxxxxxxxxx --------- | Homepage: http://www.siefkes.net/ | Blog: http://www.keimform.de/ | Peer Production in the Physical World: http://peerconomy.org/ |------------------------------------------ OpenPGP Key ID: 0x346452D8 -- A matter of internal security: the age-old cry of the oppressor. -- Capt. Picard, in "Star Trek: The Next Generation"
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