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Participation and the Provision of Discrete Public Goods: A Strategic Analysis

Palfrey, Thomas R. and Rosenthal, Howard (1983) Participation and the Provision of Discrete Public Goods: A Strategic Analysis. Social Science Working Paper, 465. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA.

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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:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemLater version published in Journal of Public Economics
Palfrey, Thomas R.0000-0003-0769-8109
Additional Information:We thank Randy Simmons for sharing his data. We have benefited from discussion with Edward Green, Richard McKelvey, and John Orbell. This work was supported by NSF Grant SES79-17576. Published as Palfrey, Thomas R., and Howard Rosenthal. "Participation and the provision of discrete public goods: a strategic analysis." Journal of public Economics 24.2 (1984): 171-193.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
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Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:465
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170922-164525313
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81783
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:25 Sep 2017 17:54
Last Modified:22 Nov 2019 09:58

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