IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Endogenous Preferences and Private Provision of Public Goods: a Double Critical Mass Model


  • Antoci, Angelo

    () (Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit)

  • Sacco, Pier Luigi

    () (Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit)

  • Zarri, Luca

    () (Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit)


In this paper we set up an evolutionary game-theoretic model aimed at addressing the issue of local public good provision via direct commitment of voluntary forces (namely, private donors and nonprofit providers) only. Two classes of agents are assumed to strategically interact within a double critical mass model, where the provision and maintenance, on voluntary bases, of a public-type good is concerned. Uncertainty as to equilibrium outcomes emerges as within both categories a positive proportion of agents faces the temptation to opportunistically free ride on others efforts. Further, private donors and nonprofit providers payoff functions are interdependent, in the sense that (a) potential donors decide to be actual donors only insofar as a large enough proportion of nonprofit organizations provides a high effort level, otherwise they act as free riders; (b) nonprofit organizations, in turn, prefer to exert a high productive effort only insofar as a large enough proportion of potential donors acts as actual donors, otherwise they exert a low effort level. Through this analytical framework, we are able to focus on the critical factors affecting the dynamic outcome of such interaction: under certain conditions, in a medium-long run perspective, even in contexts where, initially, either a large proportion of agents behaves as free riders or a large proportion of nonprofit organizations exerts a low effort level, the local public good may be provided.

Suggested Citation

  • Antoci, Angelo & Sacco, Pier Luigi & Zarri, Luca, 2004. "Endogenous Preferences and Private Provision of Public Goods: a Double Critical Mass Model," AICCON Working Papers 2-2004, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:aiccon:2004_002

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Burton Abrams & Mark Schitz, 1978. "The ‘crowding-out’ effect of governmental transfers on private charitable contributions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 29-39, March.
    2. Payne, A. Abigail, 1998. "Does the government crowd-out private donations? New evidence from a sample of non-profit firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 323-345, September.
    3. Walter Santagata & Giovanni Signorello, 2000. "Contingent Valuation of a Cultural Public Good and Policy Design: The Case of ``Napoli Musei Aperti''," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 24(3), pages 181-204, August.
    4. Sacco, Pier Luigi, 1992. "Projectual vs. adaptive behavior : A comment on Heiner," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 119-122, June.
    5. Andreoni, James, 1993. "An Experimental Test of the Public-Goods Crowding-Out Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1317-1327, December.
    6. 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.
    7. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-477, June.
    8. Cressman, R., 1997. "Local stability of smooth selection dynamics for normal form games," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-19, August.
    9. Sacco, Pier Luigi, 1994. "Can People Learn Rational Expectations? An 'Ecological' Approach," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 35-43, March.
    10. Carole Uhlaner, 1989. "“Relational goods” and participation: Incorporating sociability into a theory of rational action," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(3), pages 253-285, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Public Goods; Evolutionary Crowding-out; Voluntary Sector;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values


    Access and download statistics


    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:ris:aiccon:2004_002. 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: (Paolo Venturi). General contact details of provider: .

    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.