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An Experimental Investigation of Excludable Public Goods

  • Kurtis Swope

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    This paper extends the research on incentive compatible institutions for the provision of public goods by imposing a minimum contribution that must be met in order for an individual to enjoy the benefits of the public good. Excluding individuals who do not contribute at least the minimum transforms the linear n-player pure public goods game to an n-player coordination game with multiple, Pareto-ranked Nash equilibria. The experimental results show that exclusion increases contributions to the public good in most cases. However, an increase in contributions may not be sufficient to increase social welfare because there is a welfare cost to excluding individuals when the good is non-rival. Furthermore, exclusion can decrease both contributions and welfare in environments in which individuals fail to coordinate their contributions. The results are sensitive to the minimum contribution requirement and to the relative returns from the public and private alternatives. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1020880101987
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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 3 (December)
    Pages: 209-222

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:5:y:2002:i:3:p:209-222
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102888

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    1. Laury, Susan K. & Holt, Charles A., 2008. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Results with Interior Nash Equilibria," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
    2. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
    3. J. B. Van Huyck & R. C. Battalio & R. O. Beil, 2010. "Tacit coordination games, strategic uncertainty, and coordination failure," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000393, David K. Levine.
    4. Palfrey, Thomas R & Prisbrey, Jeffrey E, 1997. "Anomalous Behavior in Public Goods Experiments: How Much and Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 829-46, December.
    5. R. Isaac & James Walker & Susan Thomas, 1984. "Divergent evidence on free riding: An experimental examination of possible explanations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 113-149, January.
    6. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1984. "Participation and the provision of discrete public goods: a strategic analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 171-193, July.
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