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How does Clubs' Organizational Design Affect Competition Among Clubs?

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  • Prüfer, J.
  • Walz, U.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

We analyze competition among clubs in which the status of club members is the crucial added value accruing to fellow club members through social interaction within the club (e.g. in country clubs, academic faculties, or internet communities). In the course of competition for new members, clubs trade off the effect of entry on average status of the club and candidates’ monetary payment via an entrance fee. We show that the best candidates join the best clubs but they pay higher entrance fees than some lowerranking candidates. We distinguish among various decision rules and organizational set-ups, including majority voting, unanimity, and meritocracy. We find that, from a second-best welfare perspective, the unanimity rule leads to inefficient exclusion of some candidates, while meritocracy leads to inefficient inclusion. Our main policy implication is that consensus-based clubs, such as many academic faculties in Europe, could improve the well-being of their members if they liberalized their internal decision making processes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2007-27.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:200727

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

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Keywords: club theory; status organizations; design of decision making; collective action;

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  1. Casella, Alessandra & Frey, Bruno, 1992. "Federalism and clubs : Towards an economic theory of overlapping political jurisdictions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 639-646, April.
  2. Sandler, Todd & Tschirhart, John T, 1980. "The Economic Theory of Clubs: An Evaluative Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 1481-1521, December.
  3. Robert W. Helsley & William C. Strange, 1991. "Exclusion and the Theory of Clubs," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 24(4), pages 889-99, November.
  4. Casella, Alessandra, 1996. "The Role of Market Size in the Formation of Jurisdictions," CEPR Discussion Papers 1429, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  6. Basu, Kaushik, 1989. "A Theory of Association: Social Status, Prices and Markets," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 653-71, October.
  7. Dennis Epple & Holger Sieg, 1999. "Estimating Equilibrium Models of Local Jurisdictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 645-681, August.
  8. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Equity and Efficiency in Human Capital Investment: The Local Connection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 237-64, April.
  9. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
  10. Hansmann, Henry, 1986. "A Theory of Status Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 119-30, Spring.
  11. Justin Pappas Johnson, 2002. "Open Source Software: Private Provision of a Public Good," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 637-662, December.
  12. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
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