Public Goods Agreements with Other-Regarding Preferences
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.
|Date of creation:||May 2011|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Michael Kosfeld & Akira Okada & Arno Riedl, 2006.
"Institution Formation in Public Goods Games,"
IEW - Working Papers
299, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Kosfeld Michael & Okada Akira & Riedl Arno, 2006. "Institution Formation in Public Goods Games," Research Memorandum 029, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
- Michael Kosfeld & Akira Okada & Arno Riedl, 2006. "Institution Formation in Public Goods Games," CESifo Working Paper Series 1794, CESifo Group Munich.
- Kosfeld, Michael & Okada, Akira & Riedl, Arno, 2006. "Institution Formation in Public Goods Games," IZA Discussion Papers 2288, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Kosfeld, Michael & Okada, Akira & Riedl, Arno, 2006. "Institution Formation in Public Goods Games," Discussion Papers 2006-02, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
- 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.
- Dannenberg, Astrid & Lange, Andreas & Sturm, Bodo, 2010. "On the formation of coalitions to provide public goods: Experimental evidence from the lab," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-037, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, 06.
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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.