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Participation and the provision of discrete public goods: a strategic analysis

Palfrey, Thomas R. and Rosenthal, Howard (1984) Participation and the provision of discrete public goods: a strategic analysis. Journal of Public Economics, 24 (2). pp. 171-193. ISSN 0047-2727. doi:10.1016/0047-2727(84)90023-9.

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This paper considers the Nash equilibria to a game where a discrete public good is to be provided. Each individual may participate by making a fixed contribution. If a sufficient number of contributions are made, the good is provided. Otherwise, the good is not provided. One variant of the rules allows for contributions to be refunded when the good is not provided. For pure strategies, we find that the Nash equilibria with a refund are a superset of those without a refund. For both rules, the efficient number of players contributing is an equilibrium. For mixed strategies, to every equilibrium without a refund there is a corresponding equilibrium with a refund with a higher number of expected contributors. Mixed strategy equilibria 'disappear' as the number of players grows large. Some results reported in the experimental literature are discussed in light of these theoretical results.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ItemEarlier version published as Social Science Working Paper 465
Palfrey, Thomas R.0000-0003-0769-8109
Additional Information:Copyright © 1984 Published by Elsevier B.V. Received January 1983, revised version received January 1984. We thank Randy Simmons for sharing his data. We have benefited from discussions with Edward Green, David Hildebrand, Richard McKelvey, and John Orbell, and from the comments of a referee. This work was supported by NSF Grant SES79-17576. The paper was written while Howard Rosenthal was a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at Caltech.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
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Social Science Working Paper465
Issue or Number:2
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:65022
Deposited By: Susan Vite
Deposited On:28 Mar 2016 22:12
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:38

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