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Minimum participation rules for the provision of public goods

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  • Gerber, Anke
  • Neitzel, Jakob
  • Wichardt, Philipp C.

Abstract

This paper considers the endogenous formation of an institution to provide a public good. If the institution governs only its members, players have an incentive to free ride on the institution formation of others and the social dilemma is simply shifted to a higher level. Addressing this second-order social dilemma, we study the effectiveness of three different minimum participation requirements: (1) full participation/unanimity rule; (2) partial participation; (3) unanimity first and in case of failure partial participation. While unanimity is most effective once established, one might suspect that a weaker minimum participation rule is preferable in practice as it might facilitate the formation of the institution. The data of our laboratory experiment do not support this latter view, though. In fact, weakening the participation requirement does not increase the number of implemented institutions. Thus, we conclude that the most effective participation requirement is the unanimity rule which leaves no room for free riding on either level of the social dilemma.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerber, Anke & Neitzel, Jakob & Wichardt, Philipp C., 2013. "Minimum participation rules for the provision of public goods," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 209-222.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:64:y:2013:i:c:p:209-222
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2013.09.002
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    3. Astrid Dannenberg & Carlo Gallier, 2020. "The choice of institutions to solve cooperation problems: a survey of experimental research," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 23(3), pages 716-749, September.
    4. Dannenberg, Astrid & Gallier, Carlo, 2019. "The choice of institutions to solve cooperation problems: A survey of experimental research," ZEW Discussion Papers 19-021, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    5. Cason, Timothy N. & Zubrickas, Robertas, 2017. "Enhancing fundraising with refund bonuses," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 218-233.
    6. Peter Martinsson & Emil Persson, 2019. "Public Goods and Minimum Provision Levels: Does the Institutional Formation Affect Cooperation?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 121(4), pages 1473-1499, October.
    7. Martin Kesternich, 2016. "Minimum participation rules in international environmental agreements: empirical evidence from a survey among delegates in international climate negotiations," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(12), pages 1047-1065, March.
    8. Kube, Sebastian & Schaube, Sebastian & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah & Khachatryan, Elina, 2015. "Institution formation and cooperation with heterogeneous agents," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 248-268.
    9. Gallier, Carlo, 2020. "Democracy and compliance in public goods games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 121(C).
    10. Eberhard Feess & Florian Kerzenmacher & Gerd Muehlheusser, 2020. "Moral Transgressions by Groups: What Drives Individual Voting Behavior?," CESifo Working Paper Series 8384, CESifo.
    11. Ramalingam, Abhijit & Godoy, Sara & Morales, Antonio J. & Walker, James M., 2016. "An individualistic approach to institution formation in public good games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 18-36.
    12. Astrid Dannenberg & Carlo Gallier, 2019. "The Choice of Institutions to Solve Cooperation Problems: A Survey of Experimental Research," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201911, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    13. Xiaochuan Huang & Takehito Masuda & Yoshitaka Okano & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2014. "Cooperation among behaviorally heterogeneous players in social dilemma with stay or leave decisions," Working Papers SDES-2014-7, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Feb 2015.
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    15. Feess, Eberhard & Kerzenmacher, Florian & Muehlheusser, Gerd, 2020. "Moral Transgressions by Groups: What Drives Individual Voting Behavior?," IZA Discussion Papers 13383, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public goods; Coalition formation; Endogenous institutions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact

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