The Anti-Paradox of Cooperation: Diversity Pays!
Michael Finus () and
No 40/15, Department of Economics Working Papers from University of Bath, Department of Economics
This paper considers the stability and success of a pubic good agreement. We allow for any type and degree of asymmetry regarding benefits and costs. We ask the question whether asymmetry and which type and degree of asymmetry is conducive to cooperation? We employ a simple non-cooperative game-theoretic model of coalition formation and derive analytical solutions for two scenarios: an agreement without and with optimal transfers. A central message of the paper is that asymmetry does not have to be an obstacle for successful cooperation but can be an asset. We qualify and reverse two central results in the literature. Firstly, the paradox of cooperation, known since Barrett (1994) and reiterated by many others afterwards, stating that under those conditions when cooperation would matter most, stable agreements achieve only little. Secondly, a kind of "coalition folk theorem", known (without proof) in the literature for a long time, stating that without transfers, stable coalitions will be smaller with asymmetric than symmetric players. We show that even without transfers the grand coalition can be stable if there is a negative covariance between benefit and cost parameters with massive gains from cooperation. Moreover, with transfers, many distributions of benefit and cost parameters lead to a stable grand coalition, again, some of them implying huge gains from cooperation. Stability and success greatly benefit from a very skewed asymmetric distribution of benefit and costs, i.e. diversity pays!
Keywords: public good provision; coalition formation; asymmetry; externalities; transfers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-gth
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
https://purehost.bath.ac.uk/ws/files/129508272/Working_paper_McGinty.pdf Final published version (application/pdf)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eid:wpaper:46599
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Department of Economics Working Papers from University of Bath, Department of Economics Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Scholarly Communications Librarian ().