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Toilet Cleaning and Department Chairing: Volunteering a public service

  • Bilodeau, M.
  • Slivinsky, A.

Who will do a job that nobody wants but that someone has to do? The search for a volunteer is modelled as a war of attrition in which everyone is tempted to just wait for someone else to do it. We show that the volunteer will be, ceteris paribus, the individual for whom the benefit/cost ratio of performing the public service is the largest, the one most impatient to consume it, or the one who stands to benefit from it the longest.

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Paper provided by Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 94-01.

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Length: 7 pages
Date of creation: 1994
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:shr:wpaper:94-01
Contact details of provider: Postal: Sherbrooke, Québec, J1K 2R1
Phone: (819) 821-7233
Fax: (819) 821-6930
Web page: http://www.gredi.org/home/documents-de-travailEmail:


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  1. Hendricks, Kenneth & Weiss, Andrew & Wilson, Charles, 1987. "The War of Attrition in Continuous Time with Complete Information," Working Papers 87-03, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  2. Bliss, Christopher & Nalebuff, Barry, 1984. "Dragon-slaying and ballroom dancing: The private supply of a public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 1-12, November.
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