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Providing global public goods: Electoral delegation and cooperation

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  • Martin G. Kocher
  • Fanagfang Tan
  • Jing Yu

Abstract

This paper experimentally examines the effect of electoral delegation on providing global public goods shared by several groups. Each group elects a delegate who can freely decide on each group member's contribution (including the contribution of herself) to the global public good. Our results show that people mostly vote for delegates who assign equal contributions for every group member. However, in contrast to standard theoretical predictions, unequal contributions across groups drive cooperation down over time, and it decreases efficiency by almost 50% compared to the benchmark. This pattern is not driven by delegates trying to exploit their fellow group members, as indicated by the theory - quite to the opposite, other-regarding preferences and a re-election incentives guarantee that delegates assign equal contributions for all group members. Since the source of the resulting inefficiency is the polycentric nature of global public goods provision together with other-regarding preferences, we use the term P-inefficiency to describe our finding.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin G. Kocher & Fanagfang Tan & Jing Yu, 2014. "Providing global public goods: Electoral delegation and cooperation," QuBE Working Papers 027, QUT Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:qut:qubewp:wp027
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    Cited by:

    1. Karen Evelyn Hauge & Ole Rogeberg, 2015. "Representing Others in a Public Good Game," Games, MDPI, vol. 6(3), pages 1-13, September.
    2. Gary Charness & Ramón Cobo-Reyes & Juan A. Lacomba & Francisco Lagos & Jose Maria Perez, 2016. "Social comparisons in wage delegation: experimental evidence," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(2), pages 433-459, June.
    3. Alessandro Tavoni & Ralph Winkler, 2021. "Domestic Pressure and International Climate Cooperation," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 13(1), pages 225-243, October.
    4. Doruk İriş & Jungmin Lee & Alessandro Tavoni, 2019. "Delegation and Public Pressure in a Threshold Public Goods Game," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 74(3), pages 1331-1353, November.
    5. Raphael Boleslavsky & Bruce Carlin & Christopher Cotton, 2019. "Disincentive Effects of Evaluation," Working Paper 1410, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    6. Christian Grund & Christine Harbring & Kirsten Thommes & Katja Rebecca Tilkes, 2020. "Decisions on Extending Group Membership—Evidence from a Public Good Experiment," Games, MDPI, vol. 11(4), pages 1-27, December.
    7. Luca Corazzini & Christopher Cotton & Tommaso Reggiani, 2020. "Delegation and coordination with multiple threshold public goods: experimental evidence," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 23(4), pages 1030-1068, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Global Public Goods; Delegation; Cooperation; Experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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