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A Case for Bundling Public Goods Contributions?

  • Suman Ghosh

    ()

    (Department of Economics, College of Business, Florida Atlantic University)

  • Alexander Karaivanov

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University)

  • Mandar Oak

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Williams College)

We extend the model of voluntary contributions to multiple public goods by allowing for bundling of the public goods. Specifically, we study the case where agents contribute into a common pool which is then allocated towards the financing of two pure public goods. We explore the welfare implications of allowing for such bundling vis-a-vis a separate contributions scheme. We show that when agents have homogeneous preferences, they cannot be made better off with a bundling scheme. On the contrary, in the generic case when agents are heterogenous in their incomes and preferences, bundling may increase joint welfare compared to a separate contribution scheme, in particular for higher income inequality among the agents. It is interesting to note that the welfare improvement occurs despite a decrease in total contributions. Our findings have implications for the design of charitable institutions and international aid agencies.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, College of Business, Florida Atlantic University in its series Working Papers with number 05005.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fal:wpaper:05005
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  1. Dayton-Johnson, Jeff & Bardhan, Pranab, 1996. "Inequality and Conservation on the Local Commons: A Theoretical Exercise," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt7f9913w9, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  11. Cornes, Richard, 1993. "Dyke Maintenance and Other Stories: Some Neglected Types of Public Goods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 259-71, February.
  12. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Privately provided public goods in a large economy: The limits of altruism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 57-73, February.
  13. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John & Whinston, Michael D, 1989. "Multiproduct Monopoly, Commodity Bundling, and Correlation of Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 371-83, May.
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  15. Varian, Hal R., 1994. "Sequential contributions to public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 165-186, February.
  16. Adams, William James & Yellen, Janet L, 1976. "Commodity Bundling and the Burden of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 475-98, August.
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