An incomplete contracts perspective on the provision and pricing of excludable public goods
We study whether a firm that produces and sells access to an excludable public good should face a self-financing requirement, or, alternatively, receive subsidies that help to cover the cost of public-goods provision. The main result is that the desirability of a self-financing requirement is shaped by an equity-efficiency trade-off: While first-best efficiency is out of reach with such a requirement, its imposition limits the firm's ability of rent extraction. Hence, consumer surplus may be higher if the firm has no access to public funds.
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