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Individual Responsibility and the Funding of Collective Goods

Author

Listed:
  • Louis Lévy-Garboua

    () (PSE - Paris School of Economics, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Claude Montmarquette

    (Université de Montréal - Département de Sciences Economique - Université de Montréal)

  • Marie Claire Villeval

    () (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IZA - Institute for the study of labor - Institute for the Study of Labor - IZA)

Abstract

When a deficit occurs in the funding of collective goods, it is usually covered by raising the amount of taxes or by rationing the supply of the goods. This article compares the efficiency of these institutions. We report the results of a 2x2 experiment based on a game in the first stage of which subjects can voluntarily contribute to the funding of a collective good that is being used to compensate the victims of a disaster. In the second stage of the game, in case of a deficit, we introduce either taxation or rationing. Each treatment is subjected to two conditions: the burden of the deficit is either uniform for all the subjects, or individualized according to the first-stage contribution. We show that the individualized treatments favor the provision of the collective good through voluntary cooperation whereas the uniform treatments encourage free-riding. Individualized taxation brings the voluntary contributions closer to the optimum while uniform rationing appears to be the worst system since free-riding restrains the provision of the good.

Suggested Citation

  • Louis Lévy-Garboua & Claude Montmarquette & Marie Claire Villeval, 2007. "Individual Responsibility and the Funding of Collective Goods," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00175065, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00175065 Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00175065
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chan, Kenneth S. & Mestelman, Stuart & Muller, R. Andrew, 2008. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    collective goods; taxation; rationing; responsibility; interior optimum; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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