Public Goods and Public Bads

30 Pages Posted: 24 May 2017

See all articles by Wolfgang Buchholz

Wolfgang Buchholz

Universitaet Regensburg; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Richard C. Cornes

Australian National University (ANU) - Faculty of Economics & Commerce; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Dirk T. G. Rübbelke

Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg

Date Written: April 24, 2017

Abstract

In many empirically relevant situations agents in different groups are affected by the provision of a public characteristic in divergent ways: While for one group it represents a public good, it is a public bad for another group. Applying Cornes’ and Hartley’s (2007) Aggregative Game Approach, we analyze a general model, in which such contentious public characteristics are present and are provided cooperatively. In particular, we establish neutrality results w.r.t. redistribution and growth of income, infer the effects of preference changes and coalition building and present a technology paradox. Finally, we compare the outcome of voluntary provision of the contentious public characteristic with the Pareto optimal solution highlighting a potential conflict between equity and efficiency in this case.

Keywords: public goods, public bads, voluntary provision, neutrality

JEL Classification: C720, H410

Suggested Citation

Buchholz, Wolfgang and Cornes, Richard C. and Rübbelke, Dirk T. G., Public Goods and Public Bads (April 24, 2017). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6437. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2973092

Wolfgang Buchholz (Contact Author)

Universitaet Regensburg ( email )

D-93040 Regensburg, 93053
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Richard C. Cornes

Australian National University (ANU) - Faculty of Economics & Commerce ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Dirk T. G. Rübbelke

Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg ( email )

Freiberg, 09599
Germany

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