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Informative Voting and the Samuelson Rule

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  • Bierbrauer, Felix
  • Sahm, Marco
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    Abstract

    We study the classical free-rider problem in public goods provision in a large economy with uncertainty about the average valuation of the public good. Individual preferences over public goods are shaped by a skill and a taste parameter. We use a mechanism design approach to solve for the optimal utilitarian provision rule. The relevant incentive constraints for information aggregation ensure that individuals behave as if they were engaging in informative voting over the level of public good provision. It is shown that the use of information by an optimal provision rule is inversely related to the polarization of preferences which results from the properties of the skill distribution.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 159.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:159

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    Keywords: information aggregation; informative voting; public goods; two-dimensional heterogeneity;

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    References

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    1. Gary-Bobo, Robert J. & Jaaidane, Touria, 2000. "Polling mechanisms and the demand revelation problem," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 203-238, May.
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    14. Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-31, July.
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    19. Felix Bierbrauer, 2005. "Optimal Income Taxation and Public Good Provision in a Two-Class Economy," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2005_25, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
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    Cited by:
    1. Felix Bierbrauer, 2006. "Collectively Incentive Compatible Tax Systems," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2006_24, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

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