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Choice overload, coordination and inequality: three hurdles to the effectiveness of the compensation mechanism?

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  • Estelle Midler

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  • Charles Figuières

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  • Marc Willinger

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Abstract

We test the effectiveness of a compensation mechanism, adapted from Varian (Am Econ Rev 84(5):1278–1293, 1994 ). When a negative externality is produced the mechanism allows agents suffering from it to compensate those who reduce its production, by way of transfers implemented via a two-stage design. We investigate various factors that might affect the likelihood that subjects coordinate on a Pareto optimum: the size of the strategy space, the number of subgame perfect equilibria and inequality of the payoff distribution. Our experimental findings suggest that the mechanism’s effectiveness crucially depends on the final payoff distribution (after transfers). It is also strongly negatively affected by the size of the strategy space. Finally, the impact of the number of equilibria on coordination only has a weak negative effect. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Estelle Midler & Charles Figuières & Marc Willinger, 2015. "Choice overload, coordination and inequality: three hurdles to the effectiveness of the compensation mechanism?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 45(3), pages 513-535, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:45:y:2015:i:3:p:513-535
    DOI: 10.1007/s00355-014-0840-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Takehito Masuda & Takafumi Yamakawa, 2018. "Approval mechanism to solve prisoner’s dilemma: comparison with Varian’s compensation mechanism," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 51(1), pages 65-77, June.
    2. Figuières, Charles & Long, Ngo Van & Tidball, Mabel, 2017. "The MBR intertemporal choice criterion and Rawls’ just savings principle," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 11-22.
    3. Hassan Benchekroun & Charles Figuières & Mabel Tidball, 2016. "Implementation of the Lindahl Correspondance via Simple Indirect Mechanisms," AMSE Working Papers 1637, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France.
    4. Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Takehito Masuda & Takafumi Yamakawa, "undated". "Approval Mechanism to Solve Prisoner’s Dilemma: Comparison with Varian’s Compensation Mechanism," Working Papers SDES-2016-15, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management.

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