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Evolution, Teamwork and Collective Action: Production Targets in the Private Provision of Public Goods

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  • DavidP. Myatt
  • Chris Wallace

Abstract

Collective-action problems arise when private actions generate common consequences; for example, the private provision of a public good. This article asks: what shapes of public-good production function work well when play evolves over time, and hence moves between equilibria? Welfare-maximising public-good production functions yield nothing when combined efforts fall below some threshold but otherwise maximally exploit the production-possibility frontier. They generate multiple equilibria: coordinated teamwork is integral to successful collective actions. Optimal thresholds correspond to the output that individuals who pay all private costs but enjoy only private benefits would be just willing to provide. Copyright © The Author(s). Journal compilation © Royal Economic Society 2009.

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  • DavidP. Myatt & Chris Wallace, 2009. "Evolution, Teamwork and Collective Action: Production Targets in the Private Provision of Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 61-90, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:119:y:2009:i:534:p:61-90
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    Cited by:

    1. Lu, Peng, 2016. "Predicting peak of participants in collective action," Applied Mathematics and Computation, Elsevier, vol. 274(C), pages 318-330.
    2. Tamás L. Balogh & Christian Ewerhart, 2015. "On the origin of r-concavity and related concepts," ECON - Working Papers 187, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    3. Lu, Peng & Wang, Zheng & Nie, Shizhao & Pujia, Wangmo & Lu, Pengfei & Chen, Baosheng, 2018. "Exploring the participate propensity in cyberspace collective actions: The 5‰ rule," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 503(C), pages 582-590.
    4. Friehe, Tim & Tabbach, Avraham, 2018. "A comparison of simple action-based and outcome-based policies for emergency-like situations," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 22-34.
    5. Robertas Zubrickas, 2013. "The provision point mechanism with reward money," ECON - Working Papers 114, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Oct 2013.
    6. Wallace, Chris & Young, H. Peyton, 2015. "Stochastic Evolutionary Game Dynamics," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,, Elsevier.
    7. Lu, Peng, 2015. "Imitating winner or sympathizing loser? Quadratic effects on cooperative behavior in prisoners’ dilemma games," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 436(C), pages 327-337.
    8. Kealey, Terence & Ricketts, Martin, 2014. "Modelling science as a contribution good," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 1014-1024.
    9. Carbonell-Nicolau, Oriol & McLean, Richard P., 2014. "Refinements of Nash equilibrium in potential games," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(3), September.

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