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Contribution to a Public Good under Subjective Uncertainty

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  • Nicolas Gravel
  • Anwesha Banerjee

Abstract

This paper examines how voluntary contributions to a public good are affected by the contributors' heterogeneity in beliefs about the uncertain impact of their contributions. It assumes that contributors have Savagian preferences that are represented by a two-state-dependent expected utility function and different beliefs about the benefit that will result from the sum of their contributions. We establish general comparative statics results regarding the effect of specific changes in the distribution of beliefs on the (unique) Nash equilibrium provision of the public good, under certain conditions imposed on the preferences. We specifically show that the equilibrium public good provision is increasing with respect to both first and second order stochastic dominance changes in the distribution of beliefs. Hence, increasing the contributors' optimism about the uncertain benefit of their contributions increases aggregate public good provision provision, as does any homogenization of these beliefs around their mean.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Gravel & Anwesha Banerjee, 2018. "Contribution to a Public Good under Subjective Uncertainty," CSH-IFP Working Papers 0011, Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi, revised Mar 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:aed:wpaper:0011
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voluntary provision; public good; uncertainty; beliefs; optimism; consensus;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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