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Pareto-optimality in Linear Public Goods Games

  • Sascha Hokamp
  • Michael Pickhardt

We derive a generalized method for calculating the total number of Paretooptimal allocations (NOPA) in typical linear public goods games. Among other things, the method allows researchers to develop new experimental designs for testing the relevance of Pareto-optimality in experimental settings, for investigating alternative causes of the decline of voluntary contributions, or for analyzing the contribution behavior of the rich and poor in heterogeneous income settings. Further findings include that the NOPA is related to the marginal per capita return (MPCR) of a contribution to the public good and that the maximum number of free-riders tolerated by the Paretooptimality concept is independent from the group size and income distribution. Finally, we apply our findings to a number of published linear public goods games, suggest an agenda for future research and provide a MATLAB code.

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Paper provided by Institute of Spatial and Housing Economics, Munster Universitary in its series Working Papers with number 201171.

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Handle: RePEc:muc:wpaper:201171
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  1. Rachel T. A. Croson, 2007. "Theories Of Commitment, Altruism And Reciprocity: Evidence From Linear Public Goods Games," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(2), pages 199-216, 04.
  2. Matthias Cinyabuguma & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2004. "Cooperation Under the Threat of Expulsion in a Public Goods Experiment," Working Papers 2004-05, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Ananish Chaudhuri, 2011. "Sustaining cooperation in laboratory public goods experiments: a selective survey of the literature," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 47-83, March.
  4. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 1999. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 183, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
  6. Buckley, Edward & Croson, Rachel, 2006. "Income and wealth heterogeneity in the voluntary provision of linear public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 935-955, May.
  7. James C. Cox & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2006. "On Modeling Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-26, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  8. Brandts, Jordi & Schram, Arthur, 2001. "Cooperation and noise in public goods experiments: applying the contribution function approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 399-427, February.
  9. Todd L. Cherry & Stephan Kroll & Jason F. Shogren, 2003. "The Impact of Endowment Heterogeneity and Origin on Public Good Contributions: Evidence from the Lab," Working Papers 03-05, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  10. Jeffrey Carpenter, 2002. "When In Rome: Conformity and the Provision of Public Goods," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0217, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  11. Denant-Boemont, L. & Masclet, D. & Noussair, C.N., 2007. "Punishment, counterpunishment, and sanction enforcement in a social dilemma experiment," Other publications TiSEM bf51dcf1-7064-41d1-8560-9, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  12. James Andreoni & Ragan Petrie, 2003. "Public Goods Experiments Without Confidentiality: A Glimpse Into Fund-Raising," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000520, David K. Levine.
  13. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-284310 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Cécile Bazart & Michael Pickhardt, 2009. "Fighting Income Tax Evasion with Positive Rewards: Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 09-01, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Jun 2009.
  15. Bardsley, Nicholas & Sausgruber, Rupert, 2005. "Conformity and reciprocity in public good provision," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 664-681, October.
  16. Roberto Burlando & Francesco Guala, 2005. "Heterogeneous Agents in Public Goods Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 35-54, April.
  17. Cécile Bazart & Michael Pickhardt, 2011. "Fighting Income Tax Evasion with Positive Rewards," Public Finance Review, , vol. 39(1), pages 124-149, January.
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