IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/pubeco/v93y2009i11-12p1271-1282.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Do binding agreements solve the social dilemma?

Author

Listed:
  • Thoron, Sylvie
  • Sol, Emmanuel
  • Willinger, Marc

Abstract

We investigate experimentally whether "binding agreements" can provide a solution to the social dilemma that arises in the presence of pure public goods. Signing a binding agreement can prevent players from free riding on the contributions to the public good. However, a well known theoretical result is that the outcome of the endogenous formation of agreements is not necessarily efficient. Our setting is a bargaining game in which agreements form sequentially. The individual level of contribution to the public good increases with the size of the coalition reaching an agreement and the global agreement is always the socially optimal structure. There are two equilibrium outcomes, the global agreement and an asymmetric structure, which consists of two coalitions of different sizes, the small one free riding on the contributions of the larger one. We run an experiment which lends force to the theoretical result that outcomes may be inefficient. However, subjects do not play Nash and the experimental outcome is, on average, even more inefficient than the theory predicts. Our analysis leads to the conclusion that different types of behaviour co-exist.

Suggested Citation

  • Thoron, Sylvie & Sol, Emmanuel & Willinger, Marc, 2009. "Do binding agreements solve the social dilemma?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1271-1282, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:11-12:p:1271-1282
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047-2727(09)00110-8
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Sylvie Thoron, 1998. "Formation of a Coalition-Proof Stable Cartel," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 63-76, February.
    3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    4. Claude d'Aspremont & Alexis Jacquemin & Jean Jaskold Gabszewicz & John A. Weymark, 1983. "On the Stability of Collusive Price Leadership," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(1), pages 17-25, February.
    5. Donsimoni, Marie-Paule & Economides, Nicholas S & Polemarchakis, Herakles M, 1986. "Stable Cartels," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(2), pages 317-327, June.
    6. Keser, Claudia & van Winden, Frans, 2000. " Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 23-39, March.
    7. Selten, Reinhard, 1991. "Properties of a measure of predictive success," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 153-167, April.
    8. Carraro, Carlo & Siniscalco, Domenico, 1993. "Strategies for the international protection of the environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 309-328, October.
    9. Ray, Debraj & Vohra, Rajiv, 1997. "Equilibrium Binding Agreements," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 30-78, March.
    10. Debraj Ray & Rajiv Vohra, 2001. "Coalitional Power and Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(6), pages 1355-1384, December.
    11. Cason, Timothy N. & Saijo, Tatsuyoshi & Yamato, Takehiko & Yokotani, Konomu, 2004. "Non-excludable public good experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 81-102, October.
    12. Barrett, Scott, 1994. "Self-Enforcing International Environmental Agreements," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 878-894, Supplemen.
    13. Hart, Sergiu & Kurz, Mordecai, 1983. "Endogenous Formation of Coalitions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1047-1064, July.
    14. Richard Mckelvey & Thomas Palfrey, 1998. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Extensive Form Games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(1), pages 9-41, June.
    15. T. K. Ahn & R. Mark Isaac & Timothy C. Salmon, 2008. "Endogenous Group Formation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(2), pages 171-194, April.
    16. Michael Hoel & Kerstin Schneider, 1997. "Incentives to participate in an international environmental agreement," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(2), pages 153-170, March.
    17. Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Keser, Claudia, 1999. "Mobility and cooperation: on the run," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-69, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    18. Donsimoni, Marie-Paule, 1985. "Stable heterogeneous cartels," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 451-467, December.
    19. Karl-Martin Ehrhart & Claudia Keser, 1999. "Mobility and Cooperation: On the Run," CIRANO Working Papers 99s-24, CIRANO.
    20. Yi, Sang-Seung, 1997. "Stable Coalition Structures with Externalities," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 201-237, August.
    21. Francis Bloch, 1995. "Endogenous Structures of Association in Oligopolies," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(3), pages 537-556, Autumn.
    22. Laury, Susan K. & Holt, Charles A., 2008. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Results with Interior Nash Equilibria," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
    23. Bloch, Francis, 1996. "Sequential Formation of Coalitions in Games with Externalities and Fixed Payoff Division," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 90-123, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. W. Hichri & A. Kirman, 2007. "The emergence of coordination in public good games," The European Physical Journal B: Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer;EDP Sciences, vol. 55(2), pages 149-159, January.
    2. repec:eee:transa:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:374-395 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Noriaki Matsushima & Ryusuke Shinohara, 2015. "Pre-negotiation commitment and internalization in public good provision through bilateral negotiations," ISER Discussion Paper 0948r, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, revised Aug 2017.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:11-12:p:1271-1282. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.