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Volunteering and the strategic value of ignorance

  • Morath, Florian
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    Private provision of public goods often takes place as a war of attrition: individuals wait until someone else volunteers and provides the good. After a certain time period, however, one individual may be randomly selected. If the individuals are uncertain about their cost of provision, but can find out about this cost ahead of the volunteering game, a strategic value is attached to the information, and individuals may prefer not to learn their cost of provision. If the time horizon is sufficiently short, in equilibrium only one individual may acquire information about his cost. For a long time horizon, acquiring information is strictly dominant. The time limit is an important instrument in influencing the efficiency of the volunteering game.

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    File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/54584/1/682406015.pdf
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    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" with number SP II 2010-17.

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    Date of creation: 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbfff:spii201017
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    1. Jeremy I. Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 1996. "The Generalized War of Attrition," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1142, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    2. Marc Bilodeau & Al Slivinski, . "Toilet Cleaning and Department Chairing: Volunteering a Public service," Public Economics 9405001, EconWPA.
    3. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian L, 1998. "Caps on Political Lobbying," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 643-51, June.
    4. Amann, Erwin & Leininger, Wolfgang, 1996. "Asymmetric All-Pay Auctions with Incomplete Information: The Two-Player Case," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-18, May.
    5. 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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