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An Experimental Comparison of Collective Choice Procedures for Excludable Public Goods

  • Sean Gailmard
  • Thomas R. Palfrey
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    This paper compares three collective choice procedures for the provision of excludable public goods under incomplete information. One, serial cost sharing (SCS), is budget balanced, individually rational, anonymous, and strategy proof. The other two are "hybrid" procedures: voluntary cost sharing with proportional rebates (PCS) and with no rebates (NR). PCS satisfies all these properties except strategy proofness, and NR satisfies all the properties except for strategy proofness and budget balance. However, PCS and NR do not exclude any potential users, and they do not require equal cost shares, thereby overcoming the two main sources of inefficiency with SCS. We characterize the Bayesian Nash equilibria of the hybrid mechanisms and conduct laboratory experiments to compare the performance of the three mechanisms. We find that PCS produces significantly more efficient allocations than either SCS or NR.

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    Paper provided by Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago in its series Working Papers with number 0214.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:har:wpaper:0214
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