Group Size and Collective Action in a Binary Contribution Game

26 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2018 Last revised: 4 Feb 2020

See all articles by Georg Nöldeke

Georg Nöldeke

University of Basel; University of Basel

Jorge Peña

Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse

Date Written: February 4, 2020

Abstract

We consider how group size affects the private provision of a public good with non-refundable binary contributions. A fixed amount of the good is provided if and only if the number of contributors reaches an exogenous threshold. The threshold, the group size, and the identical, non-refundable cost of contributing to the public good are common knowledge. Our focus is on the case in which the threshold is larger than one, so that teamwork is required to produce the public good. We show that both expected payoffs and the probability that the public good is obtained in the best symmetric equilibrium are decreasing in group size. We also characterize the limit outcome when group size converges to infinity and provide precise conditions under which the expected number of contributors is decreasing or increasing in group size for sufficiently large groups.

Keywords: Private provision of public goods, Group size effects, Collective Action, Threshold Games, Participation Games, Teamwork Dilemma

JEL Classification: C72, D71, H41

Suggested Citation

Nöldeke, Georg and Peña, Jorge, Group Size and Collective Action in a Binary Contribution Game (February 4, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3292976 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3292976

Georg Nöldeke (Contact Author)

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/georgnoldeke/

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/georgnoldeke/

Jorge Peña

Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse ( email )

31015 Toulouse, Cedex 6
France

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