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Not It: Opting out of Voluntary Coalitions that Provide a Public Good

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  • David M. McEvoy

Abstract

Most coalitions that form to increase contributions to a public good do not require full participation by all users of the public good, and therefore create incentives for free riding. If given the opportunity to opt out of a voluntary coalition, in theory, agents should try to be among the first to do so, forcing the remaining undecided agents to bear the cost of participating in the coalition. This study tests the predicted sequence of participation decisions in voluntary coalitions using real-time threshold public goods experiments. We find that subjects’ behavior is more consistent with the theoretical predictions when the difference in payoffs between coalition members and free-riding non-members is relatively large. Key Words: voluntary coalitions, voluntary agreements, public goods experiments, free riding

Suggested Citation

  • David M. McEvoy, 2009. "Not It: Opting out of Voluntary Coalitions that Provide a Public Good," Working Papers 09-14, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:apl:wpaper:09-14
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bolle, Friedel, 2017. "A behavioral theory of equilibrium selection," Discussion Papers 392, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
    2. Bolle, Friedel & Spiller, Jörg, 2016. "Not efficient but payoff dominant: Experimental investigations of equilibrium play in binary threshold public good games," Discussion Papers 379, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
    3. Friedel Bolle, 2014. "Binary Threshold Public Goods," Discussion Paper Series RECAP15 14, RECAP15, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder).
    4. Bolle, Friedel, 2014. "On a class of threshold public goods games: With applications to voting and the Kyoto Protocol," Discussion Papers 345, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
    5. David M. McEvoy & James J. Murphy & John M. Spraggon & John K. Stranlund, 2011. "The problem of maintaining compliance within stable coalitions: experimental evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 475-498, July.
    6. McEvoy, David & Jones, Michael & McKee, Michael & Talberth, John, 2014. "Incentivizing cooperative agreements for sustainable forest management," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 34-41.
    7. David M. McEvoy & John K. Stranlund, 2016. "Inequality Aversion and Coalition Formation," Working Papers 16-09, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    8. Spiller, Jörg & Bolle, Friedel, 2017. "Experimental investigations of binary threshold public good games," Discussion Papers 393, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
    9. Jon Hovi & Hugh Ward & Frank Grundig, 2015. "Hope or Despair? Formal Models of Climate Cooperation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 62(4), pages 665-688, December.
    10. Todd Cherry & David McEvoy, 2013. "Enforcing Compliance with Environmental Agreements in the Absence of Strong Institutions: An Experimental Analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 54(1), pages 63-77, January.
    11. Tom Dedeurwaerdere & Paolo Melindi-Ghidi & Willem Sas, 2015. "Voluntary Provision of Public Knowledge Goods: Group-Based Social Preferences and Coalition Formation," Working Papers halshs-01224007, HAL.
    12. Leo Wangler & Juan-Carlos Altamirano-Cabrera & Hans-Peter Weikard, 2013. "The political economy of international environmental agreements: a survey," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 387-403, September.
    13. David McEvoy & Michael Jones & Michael McKee & John Talberth, 2013. "Incentivizing Cooperative Agreements for Sustainable Forest Management: Experimental Tests of Alternative Structures and Institutional Rules," Working Papers 13-23, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    14. Federica Alberti & Edward J. Cartwright, 2016. "Full agreement and the provision of threshold public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 205-233, January.
    15. David McEvoy & Todd Cherry & John Stranlund, 2015. "Endogenous Minimum Participation in International Environmental Agreements: An Experimental Analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 62(4), pages 729-744, December.
    16. Noriaki Matsushima & Ryusuke Shinohara, 2015. "Pre-negotiation commitment and internalization in public good provision through bilateral negotiations," ISER Discussion Paper 0948r, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, revised Aug 2017.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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