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Contribution to a Public Good under Subjective Uncertainty

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  • Anwesha Banerjee

    (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Nicolas Gravel

    (CSH - Centre de sciences humaines de New Delhi - MEAE - Ministère de l'Europe et des Affaires étrangères - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

This paper examines how voluntary contributions to a public good are affected by the contributors' heterogeneity in beliefs about the uncertain impact of their contributions. It assumes that contributors have Savagian preferences that are represented by a two-state-dependent expected utility function and different beliefs about the benefit that will result from the sum of their contributions. We establish general comparative statics results regarding the effect of specific changes in the distribution of beliefs on the (unique) Nash equilibrium provision of the public good, under certain conditions imposed on the preferences. We specifically show that the equilibrium public good provision is increasing with respect to both first and second order stochastic dominance changes in the distribution of beliefs. Hence, increasing the contributors' optimism about the uncertain benefit of their contributions increases aggregate public good provision provision, as does any homogenization of these beliefs around their mean.

Suggested Citation

  • Anwesha Banerjee & Nicolas Gravel, 2019. "Contribution to a Public Good under Subjective Uncertainty," Working Papers halshs-01734745, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-01734745
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01734745v2
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    voluntary provision; public good; uncertainty; beliefs; optimism; consensus;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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