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Pork Versus Public Goods: An Experimental Study of Public Good Provision Within a Legislative Bargaining Framework

  • Guillaume R. Frechette
  • John H. Kagel
  • Massimo Morelli

We experimentally investigate a legislative bargaining model with both public and particularistic goods. Consistent with the qualitative implications of the model: There is near exclusive public good provision in the pure public good region, in the pure private good region minimum winning coalitions sharing private goods predominate, and in the ‘mixed’ region proposers generally take some particularistic goods for themselves, allocating the remainder to public goods. As in past experiments, proposer ower is not nearly as strong as predicted, resulting in public good provision decreasing in the mixed region as its relative value increases, which is inconsistent with the theory.

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Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2010/37.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2010/37
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  1. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Group Size Effects in Public Goods Provision: The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 179-99, February.
  2. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," General Economics and Teaching 0303002, EconWPA.
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  6. Guillaume Fréchette & John H. Kagel & Massimo Morelli, 2005. "Behavioral Identification in Coalitional Bargaining: An Experimental Analysis of Demand Bargaining and Alternating Offers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1893-1937, November.
  7. Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2008. "A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation, and Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 201-36, March.
  8. Guillaume R. Frechette & John H. Kagel & Steven Lehrer, 2000. "Bargaining in Legislatures: An Experimental Investigation of Open versus Closed Amendment Rules," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1515, Econometric Society.
  9. Frechette, Guillaume & Kagel, John H. & Morelli, Massimo, 2005. "Nominal bargaining power, selection protocol, and discounting in legislative bargaining," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1497-1517, August.
  10. Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1990. " The Role of Risk Preferences in Bargaining When Acceptance of a Proposal Requires Less than Unanimous Approval," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 135-54, June.
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  15. Leblanc, William & Snyder, James Jr. & Tripathi, Micky, 2000. "Majority-rule bargaining and the under provision of public investment goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 21-47, January.
  16. Diermeier, Daniel & Gailmard, Sean, 2006. "Self-Interest, Inequality, and Entitlement in Majoritarian Decision-Making," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(4), pages 327-350, October.
  17. Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2004. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 857-869, September.
  18. Marco Battaglini & Salvatore Nunnari & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2010. "Political Institutions and the Dynamics of Public Investment," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 142, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  19. Croson, Rachel T. A., 1996. "Partners and strangers revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 25-32, October.
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