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A fair pivotal mechanism for nonpecuniary public goods

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  • Pivato, Marcus

Abstract

The Clarke pivotal mechanism is inappropriate for nonpecuniary public goods, because the assumption of quasilinear utility is invalid, and because the mechanism gives disproportionate influence to wealthier voters. But by introducing a `stochastic' Clarke tax, we can convert any separable utility function into a quasilinear one. Also, by stratifying a large population by wealth, and applying different `weights' to the votes from different wealth-strata, we can ensure that the mechanism is `fair' in the sense that the voters in different strata all have equal influence (on average) over the outcome. These weights can be fine-tuned to their optimal values over time, by using the rich dataset generated by a series of large-population referenda. The result is a fair, strategy-proof implementation of weighted utilitarian social choice over nonpecuniary public goods.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 34525.

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Date of creation: 04 Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:34525

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Keywords: pivotal mechanism; strategy-proof implementation; nonpecuniary public good; utilitarian; inequality;

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  1. Wojciech Kopczuk & Emmanuel Saez, 2004. "Top Wealth Shares in the United States: 1916-2000: Evidence from Estate Tax Returns," NBER Working Papers 10399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. R. J. Gary-Bobo & T. Jaaidane, 1996. "Polling mechanisms and the demand revelation problem," THEMA Working Papers, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise 96-31, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  3. Green, Jerry & Kohlberg, Elon & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1976. "Partial equilibrium approach to the free-rider problem," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 375-394, November.
  4. Edward N. Wolff, 2010. "Recent Trends in Household Wealth in the United States-- Rising Debt and the Middle-Class Squeeze--An Update to 2007," Economics Working Paper Archive, Levy Economics Institute wp_589, Levy Economics Institute.
  5. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
  6. Edward Clarke, 1971. "Multipart pricing of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 17-33, September.
  7. Bailey, Martin J, 1997. " The Demand Revealing Process: To Distribute the Surplus," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 91(2), pages 107-26, April.
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