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Voluntary Funding for Generic Advertising Using a Provision Point Mechanism: An Experimental Analysis of Option Assurance


  • Kent D. Messer
  • Harry M. Kaiser
  • Gregory L. Poe


The mandatory nature of check-off programs remains a contentious policy issue. A provision point mechanism with a money-back guarantee offers an attractive, alternative voluntary funding approach, yet faces the problem of how to maintain future administrative capacity should contributions fall short of the funding threshold in the present period. To address this concern, a novel two-threshold, provision point mechanism is tested that sets a high threshold to fund marketing and a low threshold, if necessary, to secure administrative capacity for future advertising. Experimental results demonstrate that providing such “option assurance” sustains high overall contributions and, in some settings, can increase producer surplus. Copyright 2007, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Kent D. Messer & Harry M. Kaiser & Gregory L. Poe, 2007. "Voluntary Funding for Generic Advertising Using a Provision Point Mechanism: An Experimental Analysis of Option Assurance," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 29(3), pages 612-631.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:revage:v:29:y:2007:i:3:p:612-631

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rose, Steven K. & Clark, Jeremy & Poe, Gregory L. & Rondeau, Daniel & Schulze, William D., 2002. "The private provision of public goods: tests of a provision point mechanism for funding green power programs," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 131-155, February.
    2. Bagnoli, Mark & Ben-David, Shaul & McKee, Michael, 1992. "Voluntary provision of public goods : The multiple unit case," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 85-106, February.
    3. Bagnoli, Mark & McKee, Michael, 1991. "Voluntary Contribution Games: Efficient Private Provision of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 351-366, April.
    4. Brubaker, Earl R, 1975. "Free Ride, Free Revelation, or Golden Rule?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 147-161, April.
    5. Mark Bagnoli & Barton L. Lipman, 1989. "Provision of Public Goods: Fully Implementing the Core through Private Contributions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 583-601.
    6. Cadsby, Charles Bram & Maynes, Elizabeth, 1999. "Voluntary provision of threshold public goods with continuous contributions: experimental evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 53-73, January.
    7. Rapoport, Amnon & Eshed-Levy, Dalit, 1989. "Provision of step-level public goods: Effects of greed and fear of being gypped," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 325-344, December.
    8. Kent D. Messer & Todd M. Schmit & Harry M. Kaiser, 2005. "Optimal Institutional Mechanisms for Funding Generic Advertising: An Experimental Analysis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(4), pages 1046-1060.
    9. Messer, Kent D. & Kaiser, Harry M. & Schulze, William D., 2004. "Status-Quo-Bias and Voluntary Contributions: Can Lab Experiments Parallel Real World Outcomes for Generic Advertising?," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20072, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    10. Ferrero, Jennifer L. & Boon, Leen & Kaiser, Harry M. & Forker, Olan D., 1996. "Annotated Bibliography of Generic Commodity Promotion Research," Research Bulletins 122819, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    11. Marks, Melanie B & Croson, Rachel T A, 1999. "The Effect of Incomplete Information in a Threshold Public Goods Experiment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 103-118, April.
    12. Rondeau, Daniel & Poe, Gregory L. & Schulze, William D., 2005. "VCM or PPM? A comparison of the performance of two voluntary public goods mechanisms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1581-1592, August.
    13. Marks, Melanie & Croson, Rachel, 1998. "Alternative rebate rules in the provision of a threshold public good: An experimental investigation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 195-220, February.
    14. Jason F. Shogren, 2004. "Incentive Mechanism Testbeds: Discussion," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1218-1219.
    15. Brookshire, David S & Coursey, Don L, 1987. "Measuring the Value of a Public Good: An Empirical Comparison of Elicitation Procedures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 554-566, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Swallow, Stephen K., 2013. "Demand-side Value for Ecosystem Services and Implications for Innovative Markets: Experimental Perspectives on the Possibility of Private Markets for Public Goods," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(01), pages 33-56, April.
    2. Maurice Doyon & Virginie Simard & Kent D. Messer & Lota D. Tamini & Harry M. Kaiser, 2008. "An Experimental Analysis of Modifications to the Centralized Milk Quota Exchange System in Quebec," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 56(3), pages 295-312, September.
    3. Zarghamee, Homa S. & Messer, Kent D. & Fooks, Jacob R. & Schulze, William D. & Wu, Shang & Yan, Jubo, 2017. "Nudging charitable giving: Three field experiments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 137-149.

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