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An Incomplete Contract Perspective on Public Good Provision

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  • David Martimort
  • Philippe De Donder
  • Etienne Billette de Villemeur

Abstract

This paper surveys what can be learned from recent advances in the incomplete contract literature to understand how public goods are or should be provided. The paper starts with a section on the full information case that presents and discusses the classical Samuelson condition on the optimal provision of public goods. The rest of the paper presents results under asymmetric information. It is constituted of two main parts. In the first one, the social planner has complete contracting ability. We discuss the basic setting and assumptions of this comprehensive contracting approach and study the trade-offs it generates. The second part of the paper is devoted to the study of contracting incompleteness. Such incompleteness can emerge from various sources, which we present and discuss. We then study the case of a politically chosen decision-maker and the consequences of its inability to commit for more than one period and of the ability for individuals to form groups. Finally, we address the problem of the choice between public and private forms of public good provision. The concluding section summarizes the main policy lessons. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2005.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economic Surveys.

Volume (Year): 19 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 149-180

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:19:y:2005:i:2:p:149-180

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Blanchard, Olivier & Kremer, Michael, 1997. "Disorganization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1091-1126, November.
  2. Klênio de Souza Barbosa & Pierre C. Boyer, 2011. "Competition for Local Public Services with Learning-by-doing and Transferability," Working Papers 06-2011, Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade de Ribeirão Preto.
  3. Rainer Bartel, 2007. "Der öffentliche Sektor in der Defensive," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 33(2), pages 199-230.
  4. Malueg, David A. & Yates, Andrew J., 2006. "Citizen participation in pollution permit markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 205-217, March.
  5. MacDonald, Peter, 2013. "Labour substitution and the scope for military outsourcing," MPRA Paper 46688, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Felix Bierbrauer, 2010. "An incomplete contracts perspective on the provision and pricing of excludable public goods," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_01, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  7. Bierbrauer, Felix J., 2011. "Incomplete contracts and excludable public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 553-569.
  8. Gunnar Lindberg & Erik Fahlbeck, 2011. "New forms of local collective governance linked to the agricultural landscape: identifying the scope and possibilities for hybrid institutions," International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 9(1/2), pages 31-47.

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