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On the Legitimacy of Coercion for the Financing of Public Goods

  • Felix Bierbrauer

    (Max Planck Institute)

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    The literature on public goods has shown that efficient outcomes are impossible if participation constraints have to be respected. This paper addresses the question whether they should be imposed. It asks under what conditions efficiency considerations justify that individuals are forced to pay for public goods that they do not value. It is shown that participation constraints are desirable if public goods are provided by a malevolent Leviathan. By contrast, with a Pigouvian planner, efficiency can be achieved. Finally, the paper studies the delegation of public goods provision to a profit-maximizing firm. This also makes participation constraints desirable.

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    Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2009.98.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2009.98
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    1. Zvika Neeman, 1998. "The Relevance of Private Information in Mechanism Design," Papers 0093, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
    2. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
    3. Rob, R., 1988. "Pollution Claim Settlements Under Private Information," Papers 19-88, Tel Aviv.
    4. Hart, Oliver D & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "Contract Renegotiation and Coasian Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 509-40, October.
    5. Peter Norman, 2004. "Efficient Mechanisms for Public Goods with Use Exclusions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 1163-1188, October.
    6. Werner Güth & Martin Hellwig, 1986. "The private supply of a public good," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 121-159, December.
    7. Acemoglu, Daron & Golosov, Mikhail & Tsyvinski, Aleh, 2008. "Markets versus governments," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 159-189, January.
    8. Roger B. Myerson & Mark A. Satterthwaite, 1981. "Efficient Mechanisms for Bilateral Trading," Discussion Papers 469S, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    9. Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1990. "Asymmetric Information Bargaining Problems with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 351-67, July.
    10. d'Aspremont, Claude & Gerard-Varet, Louis-Andre, 1979. "Incentives and incomplete information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 25-45, February.
    11. Bengt Holmstrom & Roger B. Myerson, 1981. "Efficient and Durable Decision Rules with Incomplete Information," Discussion Papers 495, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    12. Schmitz, Patrick W., 1997. "Monopolistic Provision of Excludable Public Goods under Private Information," MPRA Paper 6549, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    14. Matthews, Steven & Moore, John, 1987. "Monopoly Provision of Quality and Warranties: An Exploration in the Theory of Multidimensional Screening," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 441-67, March.
    15. John O. Ledyard & Thomas R. Palfrey, 1999. "A Characterization of Interim Efficiency with Public Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 435-448, March.
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