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Collective Goods, Common Agency, and Third-Party Intervention


  • Kevin Siqueira
  • Todd Sandler


Voluntary contributions to multiple public goods may involve many contributors (principals) who condition their payments to a single provider (agent) based on realized provision. If the agent's efforts on these goods are unobservable, then a common agency problem results with a third-best outcome owing to agency costs, free riding, and competitive interests. The latter manifests itself in the principals punishing the agent for providing an alternative public good (for which they have no interest) to a different set of principals. Remedies may require multiple policy instruments unlike the standard prescription for the public good or common agency problem in isolation. Moreover, the sequence of actions is essential for addressing the combined problems. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd and the Board of Trustees of the Bulletin of Economic Research, 2004.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Siqueira & Todd Sandler, 2004. "Collective Goods, Common Agency, and Third-Party Intervention," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 1-20, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:buecrs:v:56:y:2004:i:1:p:1-20

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Caballero, Ricardo J., 1990. "Consumption puzzles and precautionary savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 113-136, January.
    2. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 2003. "Consumption--Savings Decisions with Quasi--Geometric Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 365-375, January.
    3. Krusell, Per & Kuruscu, Burhanettin & Smith, Anthony Jr., 2002. "Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-geometric Discounting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 42-72, July.
    4. Erzo G. J. Luttmer & Thomas Mariotti, 2003. "Subjective Discounting in an Exchange Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 959-989, October.
    5. Harris, Christopher & Laibson, David, 2001. "Dynamic Choices of Hyperbolic Consumers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 935-957, July.
    6. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Ramsey Meets Laibson in the Neoclassical Growth Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1125-1152.
    7. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
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    Cited by:

    1. SIQUEIRA, Kevin & SANDLER, Todd & CAULEY, Jon, 2009. "Common agency and state-owned enterprise reform," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 208-217, June.
    2. Graham Mallard, 2014. "Static Common Agency And Political Influence: An Evaluative Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 17-35, February.
    3. Zuleta, Hernando & Villaveces, Marta Juanita & Andonova, Veneta, 2013. "Conflict and negotiation in Colombia: Are pre-donations useful?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 105-117.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods


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