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Providing Public Goods in the Absence of Strong Institutions


Gerber, Anke; Wichardt, Philipp C (2008). Providing Public Goods in the Absence of Strong Institutions. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 303, University of Zurich.

Abstract

This paper proposes a simple two-stage mechanism to establishnpositive contributions to public goods in the absence of powerful institutions tonprovide the public good and to sanction free-riders. In this mechanism players commit to the public good by paying a deposit prior to the contribution stage.nIf there is universal commitment, deposits are immediately refunded whenever anplayer contributes her speci¯ed share to the public good. If there is no universalncommitment, all deposits are refunded and the standard game is played. For suitable deposits, prior commitment and full ex post contributions are supported as a strict subgame perfect Nash equilibrium for the resulting game. As the mechanism obviates the need for any ex post prosecution of free-riders, it is particularlynsuited for situations where players do not submit to a common authority as in the case of international agreements.

Abstract

This paper proposes a simple two-stage mechanism to establishnpositive contributions to public goods in the absence of powerful institutions tonprovide the public good and to sanction free-riders. In this mechanism players commit to the public good by paying a deposit prior to the contribution stage.nIf there is universal commitment, deposits are immediately refunded whenever anplayer contributes her speci¯ed share to the public good. If there is no universalncommitment, all deposits are refunded and the standard game is played. For suitable deposits, prior commitment and full ex post contributions are supported as a strict subgame perfect Nash equilibrium for the resulting game. As the mechanism obviates the need for any ex post prosecution of free-riders, it is particularlynsuited for situations where players do not submit to a common authority as in the case of international agreements.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:February 2008
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 22:47
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 10:14
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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