From weakest-link to best-shot: The voluntary provision of public goods View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

1983-01

AUTHORS

Jack Hirshleifer

ABSTRACT

It has traditionally been assumed that the socially available amount X of a public good is the simple sum of the separate amounts xi produced by the i = 1, ..., I members of the community. But there are many other possibilities of practical importance. Among them are: (i) Weakest-link rule, where the socially available amount is the minimum of the quantities individually provided, and (ii) Best-shot rule, where the socially available amount is the maximum of the individual quantities. The former tends to arise in linear situations, where each individual has a veto on the total to be provided (e.g., if each is responsible for one link of a chain); the latter tends to arise when there is a single prize of overwhelming importance for the community, with any individual's effort having a chance of securing the prize. In comparison with the standard Summation formula of ordinary public-good theory, it is shown that underprovision of the public good tends to considerably moderated when the Weakest-link function is applicable, but aggravated when the Best-shot function is applicable. In time of disaster, where the survival of the community may depend upon each person's doing his duty, the conditions for applicability of the Weakest-link rule are approximated. This circumstance explains the historical observation that disaster conditions tend to elicit an extraordinary amount of unselfish behavior. More... »

PAGES

371-386

References to SciGraph publications

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/bf00141070

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/bf00141070

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1031980307


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