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The problem of maintaining compliance within stable coalitions: experimental evidence

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Author Info

  • David M. McEvoy

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Appalachian State University)

  • James J. Murphy

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Alaska Anchorage)

  • John M. Spraggon

    ()
    (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

  • John K. Stranlund

    ()
    (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Abstract

This study examines the performance of stable cooperative coalitions that form to provide a public good when coalition members have the opportunity to violate their commitments. A stable coalition is one in which no member wishes to leave and no non-member wishes to join. To counteract the incentive to violate their commitments, coalition members fund a third-party enforcer. This leads to the theoretical conclusion that stable coalitions are larger, and provide more of a public good, when their members are responsible for financing enforcement. However, our experiments reveal that member-financed enforcement of compliance reduces the provision of the public good. The decrease is attributed to an increase in the participation threshold for a stable coalition to form and to significant levels of noncompliance. Provision of the public good increases significantly when we abandon the strict stability conditions and require all subjects to join a coalition for it to form.

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File URL: http://www.econpapers.uaa.alaska.edu/RePEC/ala/wpaper/ALA201002.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2010-02.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Publication status: Forthcoming in Oxford Economic Papers.
Handle: RePEc:ala:wpaper:2010-02

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Web page: http://www.cbpp.uaa.alaska.edu/CBPPHome/DepartmentsandMajors/Economics.aspx
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Keywords: lab experiments;

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References

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  1. David McEvoy & John Stranlund, 2009. "Self-enforcing International Environmental Agreements with Costly Monitoring for Compliance," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(4), pages 491-508, April.
  2. Carraro, Carlo & Siniscalco, Domenico, 1991. "Strategies for the International Protection of the Environment," CEPR Discussion Papers 568, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Claude d'Aspremont & Alexis Jacquemin & Jean Jaskold Gabszewicz & John A. Weymark, 1983. "On the Stability of Collusive Price Leadership," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(1), pages 17-25, February.
  4. Matthew McGinty, 2007. "International environmental agreements among asymmetric nations," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 45-62, January.
  5. Kolstad, Charles D., 2007. "Systematic uncertainty in self-enforcing international environmental agreements," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 68-79, January.
  6. Barrett, Scott, 1994. "Self-Enforcing International Environmental Agreements," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 878-94, Supplemen.
  7. Vasconcelos, Helder, 2006. "Endogenous mergers in endogenous sunk cost industries," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 227-250, March.
  8. David Cooper & Carol Stockman, 2002. "Learning to Punish: Experimental Evidence from a Sequential Step-Level Public Goods Game," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 39-51, June.
  9. David McEvoy, 2010. "Not it: opting out of voluntary coalitions that provide a public good," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 142(1), pages 9-23, January.
  10. Na Li Dawson & Kathleen Segerson, 2003. "Voluntary Agreements with Industries: Participation Incentives with Industry-wide Targets," Working papers 2004-06, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  11. Alistair Ulph & Santiago J. Rubio, 2004. "Self-Enforcing International Environmental Agreements Revisited," Working Papers. Serie AD 2004-23, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  12. Santiago Rubio & Alistair Ulph, 2003. "An Infinite-Horizon Model of Dynamic Membership of International Environmental Agreements," Working Papers 2003.57, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  13. R. Isaac & David Schmidtz & James Walker, 1989. "The assurance problem in a laboratory market," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(3), pages 217-236, September.
  14. Cadsby, Charles Bram & Maynes, Elizabeth, 1999. "Voluntary provision of threshold public goods with continuous contributions: experimental evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 53-73, January.
  15. Effrosyni Diamantoudi, 2005. "Stable cartels revisited," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 907-921, November.
  16. Alistair Ulph, 2004. "Stable International Environmental Agreements with a Stock Pollutant, Uncertainty and Learning," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 53-73, 07.
  17. Marks, Melanie & Croson, Rachel, 1998. "Alternative rebate rules in the provision of a threshold public good: An experimental investigation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 195-220, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Leo Wangler & Juan-Carlos Altamirano-Cabrera & Hans-Peter Weikard, 2013. "The political economy of international environmental agreements: a survey," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 387-403, September.
  2. David M. McEvoy & Todd Cherry & John K. Stranlund, 2011. "The Endogenous Formation of Coalitions to Provide Public Goods: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 11-01, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  3. Dannenberg, Astrid & Lange, Andreas & Sturm, Bodo, 2010. "On the formation of coalitions to provide public goods: Experimental evidence from the lab," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-037, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Todd Cherry & David McEvoy, 2013. "Enforcing Compliance with Environmental Agreements in the Absence of Strong Institutions: An Experimental Analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 54(1), pages 63-77, January.
  5. David McEvoy & Michael Jones & Michael McKee & John Talberth, 2013. "Incentivizing Cooperative Agreements for Sustainable Forest Management: Experimental Tests of Alternative Structures and Institutional Rules," Working Papers 13-23, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.

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