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Informative Voting and the Samuelson Rule

Author

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  • Bierbrauer, Felix
  • Sahm, Marco

Abstract

We study the classical free-rider problem in public goods provision in a large economy with uncertainty about the average valuation of the public good. Individual preferences over public goods are shaped by a skill and a taste parameter. We use a mechanism design approach to solve for the optimal utilitarian provision rule. The relevant incentive constraints for information aggregation ensure that individuals behave as if they were engaging in informative voting over the level of public good provision. It is shown that the use of information by an optimal provision rule is inversely related to the polarization of preferences which results from the properties of the skill distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Bierbrauer, Felix & Sahm, Marco, 2006. "Informative Voting and the Samuelson Rule," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 159, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:159
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Felix Bierbrauer, 2006. "Collectively Incentive Compatible Tax Systems," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2006_24, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    information aggregation; informative voting; public goods; two-dimensional heterogeneity;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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