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

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

The mandatory nature of generic advertising funding remains a contentious issue. Theoretically and in laboratory environments, a provision point mechanism with a money-back guarantee offers an attractive voluntary alternative to the standard voluntary contribution mechanisms, yet in practice, few examples of multiple-round provision point mechanisms exist. A practical concern with applying these mechanisms is that even a slight shortfall in contributions relative to the designated funding threshold in one period would engender an irreversible shutdown of administrative capacity with negative consequences for subsequent periods. This paper uses experimental economics to test new two-threshold provision point mechanisms in the context of check-off programs for funding commodity marketing programs that would separately fund the minimum administrative capacity and the more costly full marketing program. In these mechanisms, even if a funding shortfall occurs for the full marketing program, the low threshold can maintain the administrative capacity and retain the option for future funding of advertising. We demonstrate that providing such "“option assurance"” does not lead to a decrease in overall contributions and, in some settings, can increase producer surplus.

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Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA with number 21371.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea06:21371
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  1. Bagnoli, Mark & Lipman, Barton L, 1989. "Provision of Public Goods: Fully Implementing the Core through Private Contributions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 583-601, October.
  2. 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.
  3. Brubaker, Earl R, 1975. "Free Ride, Free Revelation, or Golden Rule?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 147-61, April.
  4. Bagnoli, Mark & McKee, Michael, 1991. "Voluntary Contribution Games: Efficient Private Provision of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 351-66, April.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. 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 103-18, April.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  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 554-66, September.
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