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Getting the Ball Rolling: Voluntary Contributions to a Large-Scale Public Project

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  • HUSEYIN YILDIRIM

Abstract

This paper examines dynamic voluntary contributions to a large-scale project. In equilibrium, contributions are influenced by the interplay of two opposing incentives. While agents prefer to free ride on others for contributions, they also prefer to encourage others to contribute by increasing their own. Main findings of the paper are that (1) agents increase their contributions as the project moves forward; (2) as additional agents join the group, existing agents increase their contributions in the initial stages of the project while reducing them in the stages close to completion; (3) groups that are formed by more patient agents and that undertake larger projects tend to be larger; and (4) groups that rely on voluntary contributions tend to be too small compared to the social optimum. The empirical evidence on contributions to open-source software projects provides partial support for these findings. Copyright 2006 Blackwell Publishing, Inc..

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  • Huseyin Yildirim, 2006. "Getting the Ball Rolling: Voluntary Contributions to a Large-Scale Public Project," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(4), pages 503-528, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:8:y:2006:i:4:p:503-528
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    Cited by:

    1. T. Renee Bowen & George Georgiadis & Nicolas S. Lambert, 2016. "Collective Choice in Dynamic Public Good Provision," NBER Working Papers 22772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bowen, T. Renee & Georgiadis, George & Lambert, Nicolas S., 2015. "Collective Choice in Dynamic Public Good Provision: Real versus Formal Authority," Research Papers 3346, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    3. repec:eee:pubeco:v:152:y:2017:i:c:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. George Georgiadis & Steven A. Lippman & Christopher S. Tang, 2014. "Project design with limited commitment and teams," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 45(3), pages 598-623, September.
    5. Wioletta Dziuda & Ronen Gradwohl, 2015. "Achieving Cooperation under Privacy Concerns," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 142-173, August.
    6. Bose, Arup & Pal, Debashis & Sappington, David E.M., 2010. "Asymmetric treatment of identical agents in teams," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 947-961, October.
    7. Paul Pecorino & Akram Temimi, 2008. "The Group Size Paradox Revisited," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(5), pages 785-799, October.
    8. Matros, Alexander & Smirnov, Vladimir, 2016. "Duplicative search," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 1-22.
    9. Steven A. Matthews, 2008. "Achievable Outcomes of Dynamic Contribution Games, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 11-016, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 20 Jun 2011.
    10. John P. Conley & Fan-Chin Kung, 2010. "Private Benefits, Warm Glow, and Reputation in the Free and Open Source Software Production Model," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(4), pages 665-689, August.
    11. Steven A. Matthews, 2008. "Achievable Outcomes in Smooth Dynamic Contribution Games," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-028, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.

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