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Free Riding on Altruism and Group Size

Jean Hindriks () and Romans Pancs

Journal of Public Economic Theory, 2002, vol. 4, issue 3, 335-46

Abstract: It is shown that altruism does not affect the equilibrium provision of public goods although altruism takes the form of unconditional commitment to contribute. The reason is that altruistic contributions completely crowd out selfish voluntary contributions. That is, egoists free ride on altruism. It is also shown that public goods are less likely to be provided in larger groups. The only qualification to our results is when the probability of altruism is so high that it is a dominant strategy for all egoistic players to free ride. In this case, actually, both altruism and the larger group facilitate public good provision. Copyright 2002 by Blackwell Publishing Inc.

Date: 2002
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