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Public projects benefiting some and harming others: three experimental studies

Author

Listed:
  • Werner Güth

    () (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group, Jena)

  • Anastasios Koukoumelis

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group, Jena)

  • M. Vittoria Levati

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group, Jena, and Department of Economics, University of Verona)

  • Matteo Ploner

    (DECO-CEEL, University of Trento)

Abstract

Based on an axiomatically derived provision rule allowing community members to endogenously determine which, if any, public project should be provided, we perform experiments where (i) not all parties benefit from provision, and (ii) the projects' "costs" can be negative. In the tradition of legal mechanism design, the proposed provision rule is widely applicable. Additionally, it relies on intuitive fairness and profitability requirements. Our results indicate that the provision rule is conducive to efficiency, despite its multiplicity of equilibria and un- derbidding incentives. The only condition is that the cost of the most efficient project is positive.

Suggested Citation

  • Werner Güth & Anastasios Koukoumelis & M. Vittoria Levati & Matteo Ploner, 2012. "Public projects benefiting some and harming others: three experimental studies," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-034, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2012-034
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    File URL: http://pubdb.wiwi.uni-jena.de/pdf/wp_2012_034.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Simona Cicognani & Anna D’Ambrosio & Werner Güth & Simone Pfuderer & Matteo Ploner, 2015. "Community projects: an experimental analysis of a fair implementation process," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 44(1), pages 109-132, January.
    2. Spencer, Michael A. & Swallow, Stephen K. & Shogren, Jason F. & List, John A., 2009. "Rebate rules in threshold public good provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 798-806, June.
    3. Bagnoli, Mark & McKee, Michael, 1991. "Voluntary Contribution Games: Efficient Private Provision of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 351-366, April.
    4. Mark Bagnoli & Barton L. Lipman, 1989. "Provision of Public Goods: Fully Implementing the Core through Private Contributions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 583-601.
    5. Cadsby, Charles Bram & Maynes, Elizabeth, 1999. "Voluntary provision of threshold public goods with continuous contributions: experimental evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 53-73, January.
    6. Güth, Werner & Vittoria Levati, M. & Montinari, Natalia, 2014. "Ranking alternatives by a fair bidding rule: A theoretical and experimental analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 206-221.
    7. Smith, Vernon L, 1977. "The Principle of Unanimity and Voluntary Consent in Social Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1125-1139, December.
    8. Marks, Melanie & Croson, Rachel, 1998. "Alternative rebate rules in the provision of a threshold public good: An experimental investigation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 195-220, February.
    9. Charles Cadsby & Rachel Croson & Melanie Marks & Elizabeth Maynes, 2008. "Step return versus net reward in the voluntary provision of a threshold public good: An adversarial collaboration," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 277-289, June.
    10. Werner Güth & Hartmut Kliemt, 2011. "Procedurally Fair Provision of Public Projects An axiomatic characterization," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-016, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    11. Werner Güth & Anastasios Koukoumelis & M. Vittoria Levati, 2011. ""One man's meat is another man's poison." An experimental study of voluntarily providing public projects that raise mixed feelings," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-034, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    12. Buchanan, James M, 1975. "A Contractarian Paradigm for Applying Economic Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 225-230, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Güth, Werner & Vittoria Levati, M. & Montinari, Natalia, 2014. "Ranking alternatives by a fair bidding rule: A theoretical and experimental analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 206-221.
    2. Güth, Werner, 2014. "Endogenous community formation and collective provision – A procedurally fair mechanism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 389-395.
    3. Werner Gueth & Hartmut Kliemt, 2013. "Fairness That Money Can Buy. Procedural Egalitarianism in Practice," Rationality, Markets and Morals, Frankfurt School Verlag, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, vol. 4(65), May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public project; Bidding behavior; Procedural fairness;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H44 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Goods: Mixed Markets

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