Public Good Menus and Feature Complementarity
The distance metric on the location space for multidimensional public good varieties represents complementarity between the goods features. "Euclidean" feature complementarity has atypical strong properties that lead to a failure of intuition about the optimal-menu design problem. If the population is heterogeneous, increasing the distance between two varieties is welfare-improving in Euclidean space, but not generally. A basic optimal-direction principle always applies: "anticonvex" menu changes increase participation and surplus. A menu replacement is anticonvex if it moves the varieties apart in the common line space. The result extends to some impure public goods with break-even pricing and variety-specic costs. A sufficient condition for menus to be Pareto-optimal is that "personal price" (nominal price plus perceived distance from a variety) is linear in the norm that induces the distance metric.
|Date of creation:||2006|
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