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Public-Good Provision with Many Participants

  • Martin F. Hellwig

For a nonexcludable public good with benefit and cost functions independent of the number of participants, this paper studies second-best allocations under Bayesian interim incentive compatibility and interim individual rationality. As the number of participants becomes large, second-best provision levels converge in distribution to first-best levels if the latter are bounded. Second-best provision levels become large in absolute terms but small relative to first-best levels if benefit and cost functions are isoelastic. In contrast, for an excludable public good, the ratio of second-best to first-best levels is bounded away from zero. Copyright The Review of Economic Studies Limited, 2003.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 70 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (07)
Pages: 589-614

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Handle: RePEc:bla:restud:v:70:y:2003:i:3:p:589-614
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