IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ucp/jpolec/v97y1989i1p201-25.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

An Experimental Evaluation of Weakest Link/Best Shot Models of Public Goods

Author

Listed:
  • Harrison, Glenn W
  • Hirshleifer, Jack

Abstract

In the supply of public goods, far less free riding actually occurs than traditional theory predicts. As one explanation, the social composition function, which aggregates individual contributions into an available social total, may not always take the standard summation form. Theoretical considerations indicate that free riding should be least for a social composition function of the weakest-link type but greatest for the best-shot type. Using a sequential protocol, the authors' experiments strongly confirm theoretical anticipations under all three types of social composition functions. Even under the more onerous sealed-bid (simultaneous play ) protocol, the experimental subjects are able to make some partial progress toward the theoretical ideal. Copyright 1989 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Harrison, Glenn W & Hirshleifer, Jack, 1989. "An Experimental Evaluation of Weakest Link/Best Shot Models of Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 201-225, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:97:y:1989:i:1:p:201-25
    DOI: 10.1086/261598
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/261598
    File Function: full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers. See http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE for details.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1086/261598?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    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. Groves, Theodore & Ledyard, John O, 1977. "Optimal Allocation of Public Goods: A Solution to the "Free Rider" Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(4), pages 783-809, May.
    2. Bohm, Peter, 1972. "Estimating demand for public goods: An experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 111-130.
    3. 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.
    4. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1987. "Economic Behaviour in Adversity," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226342825, Febrero.
    5. Ferejohn, John A. & Forsythe, Robert & Noll, Roger G., "undated". "An Experimental Analysis of Decision-Making Procedures for Discrete Public Goods: A Case Study of a Problem in Institutional Design," Working Papers 155, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    6. Ferejohn, John A. & Forsythe, Robert & Noll, Roger G. & Palfrey, Thomas R., "undated". "An Experimental Examination of Auction Mechanisms for Discrete Public Goods," Working Papers 262, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    7. Green, Jerry & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1977. "Characterization of Satisfactory Mechanisms for the Revelation of Preferences for Public Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(2), pages 427-438, March.
    8. Bliss, Christopher & Nalebuff, Barry, 1984. "Dragon-slaying and ballroom dancing: The private supply of a public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 1-12, November.
    9. Smith, Vernon L, 1979. " An Experimental Comparison of Three Public Good Decision Mechanisms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 81(2), pages 198-215.
    10. Oliver Kim & Mark Walker, 1984. "The free rider problem: Experimental evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 3-24, January.
    11. Mark Isaac, R. & McCue, Kenneth F. & Plott, Charles R., 1985. "Public goods provision in an experimental environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 51-74, February.
    12. Smith, Vernon L, 1977. "The Principle of Unanimity and Voluntary Consent in Social Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1125-1139, December.
    13. Reinhard Selten, 1974. "Reexamination of the Perfectness Concept for Equilibrium Points in Extensive Games," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 023, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    14. Peter Bohm, 1972. "Estimating the demand for public goods: An experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00126, The Field Experiments Website.
    15. Marwell, Gerald & Ames, Ruth E., 1981. "Economists free ride, does anyone else? : Experiments on the provision of public goods, IV," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 295-310, June.
    16. Lipnowski, Irwin & Maital, Shlomo, 1983. "Voluntary provision of a pure public good as the game of `chicken'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 381-386, April.
    17. Martin McGuire, 1974. "Group size, group homo-geneity, and the aggregate provision of a pure public good under cournot behavior," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 107-126, June.
    18. Bohm, Peter, 1984. "Revealing demand for an actual public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 135-151, July.
    19. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Plott, Charles R. & Porter, David P., "undated". "An Experimental Analysis of Public Goods Provision Mechanisms with and without Unanimity," Working Papers 595, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    20. Jack Hirshleifer, 1983. "From weakest-link to best-shot: The voluntary provision of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 371-386, January.
    21. Peter Bohm, 1984. "Revealing demand for an actual public good," Framed Field Experiments 00129, The Field Experiments Website.
    22. Friedrich Schneider & Werner W. Pommerehne, 1981. "Free Riding and Collective Action: An Experiment in Public Microeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 96(4), pages 689-704.
    23. Smith, Vernon L, 1980. "Experiments with a Decentralized Mechanism for Public Good Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 584-599, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Ledyard, John O., "undated". "Public Goods: A Survey of Experimental Research," Working Papers 861, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    2. Sánchez, Isabel, 1991. "La provision voluntaria de bienes publicos: Resultados Experimentales," DE - Documentos de Trabajo. Economía. DE 3000, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    3. Charles Plott, 2014. "Public choice and the development of modern laboratory experimental methods in economics and political science," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 331-353, December.
    4. JOHN McMILLAN, 1979. "The Free‐Rider Problem: A Survey," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 55(2), pages 95-107, June.
    5. Dirk Alboth & Anat Lerner & Jonathan Shalev, 2001. "Profit Maximizing in Auctions of Public Goods," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 3(4), pages 501-525, October.
    6. Glenn Harrison, 2005. "Field experiments and control," Artefactual Field Experiments 00057, The Field Experiments Website.
    7. Trine Hansen, 1997. "The Willingness-to-Pay for the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen as a Public Good," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 21(1), pages 1-28, March.
    8. Don Coursey & William Schulze, 1986. "The application of laboratory experimental economics to the contingent valuation of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 47-68, January.
    9. ALBOTH, Dirk & LERNER, Anat & SHALEV, Jonathan, 1997. "Auctioning public goods to groups of aghents," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 1997077, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    10. J.D. Snowball & G.G. Antrobus, 2001. "Measuring The Value Of The Arts To Society: The Importance Of The Value Of Externalities For Lower Income And Education Groups In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 69(4), pages 752-766, December.
    11. Abueg, Luisito, 2019. "A survey of the ocean’s plastic waste problem, and some policy developments of the Philippines," MPRA Paper 96263, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Gleen W. Harrison & Jack Hirschleifer, 1985. "The Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Protocols and Social Composition Functions: Report on an Experiment," UCLA Economics Working Papers 372, UCLA Department of Economics.
    13. Grolleau, Gilles & Sutan, Angela & Vranceanu, Radu, 2016. "Do people contribute more to intra-temporal or inter-temporal public goods?," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 186-195.
    14. Pietro Battiston & Simona Gamba & Matteo Rizzolli & Valentina Rotondi, 2018. "What exactly is public in a public good game? A lab-in-the-field experiment," Working Papers 125, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    15. Levitt, Steven D. & List, John A., 2009. "Field experiments in economics: The past, the present, and the future," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-18, January.
    16. Buchmann, Tobias & Haering, Alexander & Kudic, Muhamed & Rothgang, Michael, 2018. "Does sequential decision-making trigger collective investment in automobile R&D? Experimental evidence," Ruhr Economic Papers 785, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    17. Bonetti, Shane, 1998. "Experimental economics and deception," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 377-395, June.
    18. Josef Falkinger, 2000. "A Simple Mechanism for the Efficient Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 247-264, March.
    19. Julia Freybote & Hua Sun & Xi Yang, 2015. "The Impact of LEED Neighborhood Certification on Condo Prices," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 43(3), pages 586-608, September.
    20. Edna Tusak Loehman & Richard Kiser & Stephen J. Rassenti, 2014. "Cost Share Adjustment Processes for Cooperative Group Decisions About Shared Goods: A Design Approach," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 23(5), pages 1085-1126, September.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    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:ucp:jpolec:v:97:y:1989:i:1:p:201-25. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Journals Division (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE .

    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.