IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/17017.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Public Goods Agreements with Other-Regarding Preferences

Author

Listed:
  • Charles D. Kolstad

Abstract

Why cooperation occurs when noncooperation appears to be individually rational has been an issue in economics for at least a half century. In the 1960's and 1970's the context was cooperation in the prisoner's dilemma game; in the 1980's concern shifted to voluntary provision of public goods; in the 1990's, the literature on coalition formation for public goods provision emerged, in the context of coalitions to provide transboundary pollution abatement. The problem is that theory suggests fairly low (even zero) levels of contributions to the public good and high levels of free riding. Experiments and empirical evidence suggests higher levels of cooperation. This is a major reason for the emergence in the 1990's and more recently of the literature on other-regarding preferences (also known as social preferences). Such preferences tend to involve higher levels of cooperation (though not always). This paper contributes to the literature on coalitions, public good provision and other-regarding preferences. For standard preferences, the marginal per capita return (MPCR) to investing in the public good must be greater than one for contributing to be individually rational. We find that Charness-Rabin preferences tend to reduce this threshold for individual contributions. We also find that Charness-Rabin preferences reduce the equilibrium size of a coalition of agents formed to provide the public good. In contrast to much of the literature, we treat the wealth of agents as heterogeneous. In such cases, we find that transfers among agents of the coalition may be necessary to sustain cooperation (regardless of the nature of preferences). An example drawn from experiments is provided as an illustration of the effectiveness of social preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles D. Kolstad, 2011. "Public Goods Agreements with Other-Regarding Preferences," NBER Working Papers 17017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17017
    Note: EEE PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17017.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael Kosfeld & Akira Okada & Arno Riedl, 2009. "Institution Formation in Public Goods Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1335-1355, September.
    2. Nicholas E. Burger & Charles D. Kolstad, 2009. "Voluntary Public Goods Provision, Coalition Formation, and Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 15543, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
    4. Astrid Dannenberg & Andreas Lange & Bodo Sturm, 2010. "On the Formation of Coalitions to Provide Public Goods - Experimental Evidence from the Lab," NBER Working Papers 15967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Claude d'Aspremont & Alexis Jacquemin & Jean Jaskold Gabszewicz & John A. Weymark, 1983. "On the Stability of Collusive Price Leadership," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(1), pages 17-25, February.
    6. Andreas Lange, 2006. "The Impact of Equity-preferences on the Stability of International Environmental Agreements," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 34(2), pages 247-267, June.
    7. Ananish Chaudhuri, 2011. "Sustaining cooperation in laboratory public goods experiments: a selective survey of the literature," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(1), pages 47-83, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Gary D. Libecap, 2014. "Addressing Global Environmental Externalities: Transaction Costs Considerations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(2), pages 424-479, June.
    2. Kverndokk, Snorre & Nævdal, Eric & Nøstbakken, Linda, 2014. "The trade-off between intra- and intergenerational equity in climate policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 40-58.
    3. repec:now:jnlsbe:102.00000065t is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Semjén, András, 2017. "Az adózói magatartás különféle magyarázatai
      [Various explanations for tax compliance]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(2), pages 140-184.
    5. Makowsky, Michael D. & Orman, Wafa Hakim & Peart, Sandra J., 2014. "Playing with other people's money: Contributions to public goods by trustees," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 44-55.
    6. Gary D. Libecap, 2013. "Addressing Global Environmental Externalities: Transaction Costs Considerations," NBER Working Papers 19501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Van Long, Ngo, 2016. "The Impacts of Other-Regarding Preferences and Ethical Choice on Environmental Outcomes: A Review of the Literature," Strategic Behavior and the Environment, now publishers, vol. 6(1-2), pages 1-35, December.
    8. Köke, Sonja & Lange, Andreas, 2013. "Negotiating Environmental Agreements under Ratification Uncertainty," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79952, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17017. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.