Non-monetary anti-rival compensation

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Michiel de Jong

Jan 10, 2019, 8:38:25 AM1/10/19
to Nikander Pekka,
Hi Nikander,

Your concept of non-monetary compensation in the context of anti-rival production sounds fascinating!

I guess in theory, if digital products are placed in the public domain, governments could provide tax cuts, and in publicly funded medical and academic research could with a little stretch be considered an example of that (I can really recommend Rufus Pollock's book 'The Open Revolution' in relation to this). But that's still a monetary compensation then, of course.

About non-monetary motivation, you already posted some interesting links related to basic income - I was reminded of a blogpost I wrote about how I didn't work for (a lot of) money  when I was a digital nomad. My personal stance is a bit less radical now than it was then - I realize most people will, from a personal incentive, still just try to work on something that's well paid, even if they know it's not the most altruistic thing they could be doing for mankind.

I do think there's a shift towards what you describe though, and many software engineers will prefer to work on a slightly worse-paid open source project than on a slightly  better-paid proprietary project. The same is probably true for some other creative professions, like musicians, maybe? What do you  think?


On Thursday, December 27, 2018 at 8:17:42 AM UTC+1, Nikander Pekka wrote:
Hi Aniket, below.

PS. With my new group at Aalto, we are looking at how to develop non-monetary compensation methods, and especially how to incentivise the production of non-rival and anti-rival production in an efficient manner.
Sounds interesting. Do you already have some papers/techreports regarding this? 

We don't have published anything noteworthy yet.  However, the following give a good background, especially in the context of data markets.

The main point is that data (and some other goods) are not only non-rival in Arrow's sense, but anti-rival in the sense that they gain value as they are used.  

We have hypothesised (in a position paper published in Finnish [1]) that anti-rival property may be a prime cause for the monopolistic levels of centralisation we see in the data markets.  That is, while it appears possible to clear the markets with money, i.e. the main rival compensation method we have, the resulting system appears to be inefficient.

Where we try to go then is to imagine anti-rival compensation methods.  That is not exactly easy.

[1] Nikander, Pekka; Mattila, Juri; Seppälä, Timo. "Kehittymättömät datamarkkinat johtavat Internetin keskittymiseen" / "Underdeveloped data markets lead to centralisation of the Internet"  In Finnish.  In Digibarometri 2018.


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