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Free Riding and the Inefficiency of the Private Production of Pure Public Goods

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  • R. C. Cornes
  • A. G. Schweinberger

Abstract

The traditional essentially Ricardian model of the voluntary production of pure public goods is generalized to comprise any number of private and public goods, factors of production, and households. The main novel feature of our approach is to use a household production model. The efficiency losses from the underproduction of pure public goods in a Cournot-Nash equilibrium are related to the scale of the economy (number of households) and the extent of free riding (non-contributions of one or more households to one or more public goods). It is also shown that significant welfare gains can be achieved by a reallocation of factors between public goods alone. Globally applicable, necessary and sufficient conditions for welfare improvements are derived and interpreted.

Suggested Citation

  • R. C. Cornes & A. G. Schweinberger, 1996. "Free Riding and the Inefficiency of the Private Production of Pure Public Goods," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(1), pages 70-91, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:29:y:1996:i:1:p:70-91
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. A. B. Atkinson & N. H. Stern, 1974. "Pigou, Taxation and Public Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 119-128.
    2. Lloyd, P. J. & Schweinberger, A. G., 1988. "Trade expenditure functions and the gains from trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3-4), pages 275-297, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yann Rébillé & Lionel Richefort, 2014. "Networks of many public goods with non-linear best replies," Working Papers hal-01074708, HAL.
    2. Rob Moir, 2004. "Lotteries as a funding tool for financing public goods," CEEL Working Papers 0401, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    3. Itaya, Jun-ichi & Mizushima, Atsue, 2016. "Should income inequality be praised? Multiple public goods provision, income distribution, and social welfare," Discussion paper series. A 298, Graduate School of Economics and Business Administration, Hokkaido University.
    4. Richard Cornes & Jun-Ichi Itaya, 2010. "On the Private Provision of Two or More Public Goods," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(2), pages 363-385, April.
    5. Karen Pittel & Dirk T.G. Rübbelke, 2004. "Private Provision of Public Goods : Incentives for Donations," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 04/34, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    6. Richard Cornes & Juni-ichi Itaya, 2004. "Models With Two Or More Public Goods," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 896, The University of Melbourne.
    7. Luigi Mittone & Francesca Bortolami, 2007. "Free riding and norms of control: self determination and imposition. An experimental comparison," CEEL Working Papers 0704, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    8. Lahiri, Sajal & Raimondos-Moller, Pascalis, 1998. "Public good provision and the welfare effects of indirect tax harmonisation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 253-267, February.
    9. Kung, Fan-chin, 2008. "Voluntary contributions to multiple public goods in a production economy with widespread externalities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(12), pages 1364-1378, December.
    10. Lionel Richefort, 2017. "Warm-Glow Giving in Networks with Multiple Public Goods," Working Papers 2017.32, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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