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Group Formation and Heterogeneity in Collective Action Games


  • Maruta, Toshimasa
  • Okada, Akira


We present a simple model of voluntary groups in a collective action problem where individuals differ in their willingness to cooperate. The heterogeneity of individuals' preferences generally yields multiple equilibrium groups with different levels of cooperation. Voluntary participation in a binding contract to cooperate does not necessarily lead to the full cooperation. Applications to voluntary provision of public goods and cartel formation in oligopolistic markets are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Maruta, Toshimasa & Okada, Akira, 2005. "Group Formation and Heterogeneity in Collective Action Games," Discussion Papers 2005-07, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:econdp:2005-07

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. William P. Rogerson, 1992. "Contractual Solutions to the Hold-Up Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(4), pages 777-793.
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    4. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2002. "On the Interplay of Hidden Action and Hidden Information in Simple Bilateral Trading Problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 444-460, April.
    5. Georg Noldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1995. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation: A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 163-179, Summer.
    6. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2002. "Simple contracts, renegotiation under asymmetric information, and the hold-up problem," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 169-188, January.
    7. Akira Konakayama & Toshihide Mitsui & Shinichi Watanabe, 1986. "Efficient Contracting with Reliance and a Damage Measure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 450-457, Autumn.
    8. Donald B. Hausch & Yeon-Koo Che, 1999. "Cooperative Investments and the Value of Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 125-147, March.
    9. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2002. "On simple contracts, renegotiation under asymmetric information, and the hold-up problem," MPRA Paper 12530, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Konishi, Hideo & Furusawa, Taiji, 2011. "Contributing or free-riding? Voluntary participation in a public good economy," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(2), May.

    More about this item


    group formation; collective action; heterogeneous preferences; voluntary participation;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General


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