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A Case for Bundling Public Goods Contributions

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  • SUMAN GHOSH
  • ALEXANDER KARAIVANOV
  • MANDAR OAK

Abstract

We extend the model of voluntary contributions to multiple public goods by allowing for bundling of the public goods. Specifically, we study the case where agents contribute into a common pool which is then allocated toward the financing of two pure public goods. We explore the welfare implications of allowing for such bundling vis-à-vis a separate contributions scheme. We show that for high income inequality or for identical preferences among agents bundling leads to higher joint welfare. Interestingly, a welfare improvement can in some cases occur despite a decrease in total contributions. On the contrary, when agents are heterogenous, for low income inequality bundling can lead to lower total contributions and may decrease welfare compared to a separate contribution scheme. Our findings have implications for the design of charitable institutions and international aid agencies. Copyright 2007 Blackwell Publishing, Inc..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Association for Public Economic Theory in its journal Journal of Public Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 9 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (06)
Pages: 425-449

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:9:y:2007:i:3:p:425-449

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  1. Adams, William James & Yellen, Janet L, 1976. "Commodity Bundling and the Burden of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 475-98, August.
  2. Fang, Hanming & Norman, Peter, 2004. "An Efficiency Rationale for Bundling of Public Goods," Microeconomics.ca working papers norman-04-11-21-09-39-13, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 08 Feb 2005.
  3. Durlauf, Steven N. & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2005. "Social Capital," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1639-1699 Elsevier.
  4. Jeff Dayton-Johnson & Pranab Bardhan, 2002. "Inequality And Conservation On The Local Commons: A Theoretical Exercise," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 577-602, July.
  5. Gradstein, Mark, 1992. "Time Dynamics and Incomplete Information in the Private Provision of Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 581-97, June.
  6. Cornes, Richard, 1993. "Dyke Maintenance and Other Stories: Some Neglected Types of Public Goods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 259-71, February.
  7. Clark, Simon & Kanbur, Ravi, 2002. "Stable Partnerships, Matching, and Local Public Goods," Working Papers 127325, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  8. Bilodeau, Marc & Slivinski, Al, 1997. "Rival charities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 449-467, December.
  9. Bilodeau, Marc, 1992. "Voluntary contributions to united charities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 119-133, June.
  10. Peter Norman & Hanming Fang, 2004. "An Efficiency Rationale for the Bundling of Public Goods," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 458, Econometric Society.
  11. Warr, Peter G., 1983. "The private provision of a public good is independent of the distribution of income," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 207-211.
  12. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John & Whinston, Michael D, 1989. "Multiproduct Monopoly, Commodity Bundling, and Correlation of Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 371-83, May.
  13. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  14. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
  15. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Privately provided public goods in a large economy: The limits of altruism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 57-73, February.
  16. Richard Cornes & Juni-ichi Itaya, 2004. "Models With Two Or More Public Goods," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 896, The University of Melbourne.
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Cited by:
  1. Luca Corazzini & Christopher Cotton & Paola Valbonesi, 2013. "Too many charities? Insight from an experiment with multiple public goods and contribution thresholds," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0171, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".

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