On the voluntary provision of “weakest‐link” public goods: The case of private information
Stefano Barbieri and
David A. Malueg
Journal of Public Economic Theory, 2019, vol. 21, issue 5, 866-894
We characterize equilibria in a private‐provision public‐good game where individuals are allowed arbitrary contribution levels and the level of the public good equals the least contribution made by an individual. Equilibrium comparative statics are derived for the interim Pareto‐dominant equilibrium. First, improvements in the cost distribution of even only one player benefit all. Second, even with such “weakest‐link” public goods, for which greater similarity of preferences would seem to facilitate coordination, decreased heterogeneity can actually decrease payoffs. Indeed, increasing the riskiness of cost distributions has an ambiguous effect on welfare. Two mechanisms are provided for improving equilibrium payoffs: Technology transfer and cheap‐talk communication. While substantial welfare gains are possible, examples show that (a) technology transfer may be futile if a “regularity” condition is not satisfied and (b) cheap talk may be useless if the language for communication is not sufficiently rich.
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:21:y:2019:i:5:p:866-894
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