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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, Boone, NC)

  • James J. Murphy

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

  • 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 not comply with 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 must finance enforcement relative to when compliance is ensured without the need for costly enforcement. However, our experiments reveal that giving coalition members the opportunity to violate their commitments while requiring them to finance enforcement to maintain compliance reduces the overall provision of the public good. The decrease in the provision of the public good is attributed to an increase in the participation threshold for a theoretically stable coalition to form and to significant levels of noncompliance. When we abandon the strict stability conditions and require all subjects to join a coalition for it to form, the average provision of the public good increases significantly.

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File URL: http://courses.umass.edu/resec/workingpapers/documents/ResEcWorkingPaper2008-2.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2008-2.

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Length: 65 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dre:wpaper:2008-2

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Web page: http://www.umass.edu/resec/
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Keywords: stable coalitions; self-enforcing agreements; compliance; enforcement; public goods;

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References

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  1. David M. McEvoy, 2009. "Not It: Opting out of Voluntary Coalitions that Provide a Public Good," Working Papers 09-14, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  2. Barrett, Scott, 1994. "Self-Enforcing International Environmental Agreements," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 878-94, Supplemen.
  3. 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.
  4. Santiago J. Rubio & Alistair Ulph, 2006. "Self-enforcing international environmental agreements revisited," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 233-263, April.
  5. 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.
  6. Vasconcelos, Helder, 2006. "Endogenous mergers in endogenous sunk cost industries," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 227-250, March.
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  8. 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.
  9. Santiago Rubio & Alistair Ulph, 2003. "An Infinite-Horizon Model of Dynamic Membership of International Environmental Agreements," Working Papers 2003.57, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  10. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & JACQUEMIN, Alexis & GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & WEYMARK, John A., . "On the stability of collusive price leadership," CORE Discussion Papers RP -522, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. 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.
  12. Effrosyni Diamantoudi, 2005. "Stable cartels revisited," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 907-921, November.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. R. Isaac & David Schmidtz & James Walker, 1989. "The assurance problem in a laboratory market," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(3), pages 217-236, September.
  16. Matthew McGinty, 2007. "International environmental agreements among asymmetric nations," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 45-62, January.
  17. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. David M. McEvoy & Todd L. Cherry & John K. Stranlund, 2011. "The Endogenous Formation of Coalitions to Provide Public Goods: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 2011-2, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
  2. Astrid Dannenberg & Andreas Lange & Bodo Sturm, 2010. "On the Formation of Coalitions to Provide Public Goods - Experimental Evidence from the Lab," NBER Working Papers 15967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  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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