On Sequential and Simultaneous Contributions under Incomplete Information
Under incomplete information about (independent) private valuations of a public good, we establish sufficient conditions under which, despite the incentive to free ride on future contributors, the expected total amount of voluntary contributions is higher when agents contribute sequentially (observing prior contributions) rather than simultaneously. We establish this in a conventional framework with quasi-linear utility where agents care only about the total provision of the public good (rather than individual contribution levels) and there is no non-convexity in provision of the public good. We allow for arbitrary number of agents and fairly general distribution of types.
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