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Assigning an unpleasant task without payment

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  • Susanne Goldlücke

    ()

  • Thomas Tröger

    ()

Abstract

How should a group of people decide to allocate a task that has to be done but is not adequately rewarded? This paper finds an optimal mechanism for the private provision of a public service in an environment without monetary transfers. All members of the group have the same cost of providing the service, but some individuals are better suited for the task than others. The optimal mechanism is a threshold rule that assigns the task randomly among volunteers if enough volunteers come forward, and otherwise assigns the task among the non-volunteers.

Suggested Citation

  • Susanne Goldlücke & Thomas Tröger, 2018. "Assigning an unpleasant task without payment," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2018_003, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:bon:boncrc:crctr224_2018_003
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    File URL: https://www.crctr224.de/en/research-output/discussion-papers/discussion-papers#DP03
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Bilodeau, Marc & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "Toilet cleaning and department chairing: Volunteering a public service," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 299-308, February.
    3. Chakravarty, Surajeet & Kaplan, Todd R., 2013. "Optimal allocation without transfer payments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 1-20.
    4. Paul Klemperer & Jeremy Bulow, 1999. "The Generalized War of Attrition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 175-189, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2006. "Volunteering for heterogeneous tasks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 333-349, August.
    7. Mark Bagnoli & Barton L. Lipman, 1989. "Provision of Public Goods: Fully Implementing the Core through Private Contributions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 583-601.
    8. Ted Bergstrom, 2017. "The Good Samaritan and Traffic on the Road to Jericho," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 33-53, May.
    9. Roland Strausz, 2017. "A Theory of Crowdfunding: A Mechanism Design Approach with Demand Uncertainty and Moral Hazard," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(6), pages 1430-1476, June.
    10. Condorelli, Daniele, 2012. "What money canʼt buy: Efficient mechanism design with costly signals," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 613-624.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Volunteering; public good provision; mechanism design;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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