Here's an Olympic based example of the power of incentives:
Eight Olympic women's badminton players face a disciplinary hearing after being accused of "not using one's best efforts to win a match" in doubles contests that drew boos from spectators.
The Badminton World Federation says it will hold the hearing on Wednesday.
The players -- four from South Korea, two from China and two from Indonesia -- have also been charged with "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport" during matches on Tuesday, the federation said in a statement.
The charges result from two lackluster contests in London that angered the watching crowds as the doubles pairs appeared to be trying to lose the matches in order to ensure a more favorable draw later in the competition.
Whether monetary, utilitarian, glory-based, whatever...incentives drive behavior. In this case, the rules of the Olympic Badminton tournament seem to be such that there is an incentive for teams to shirk in order to advance further. Rather than blaming the athletes for responding to the incentives in a rational way (the goal is not to win every match and entertain fabns, but rather to advance as far as they can, and if that means shirking...so?) why not make sure the tournament incentives are such that the desired behavior is the one consistent with the end result?
UPDATE: "Eight female badminton doubles players were disqualified from the London Olympics after trying to lose matches to receive a more favorable place in the tournament, Indonesia's team leader said Wednesday.The Badminton World Federation investigated two teams from South Korea and one each from China and Indonesia. It accused them of "not using one's best efforts to win a match" and "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport" in matches Tuesday night."