Coalition Stability In Public Goods Provision: Testing An Optimal Allocation Rule
Environmental & Resource Economics
We test the canonical model of international environmental agreements (IEAs) in a laboratory setting with asymmetric agents. IEA participation represents coalition formation and public good provision where there are gains to cooperation, but an incentive to free-ride. We test four competing methods of dividing the coalition's worth: a recently proposed optimal rule which accounts for subjects' payoffs as a single free-rider, the Shapley value, the Nash bargaining solution, and an equal split. Each treatment generates the theoretically predicted coalition size more often than not. The shares of the potential gains to cooperation achieved by each rule are: 51, 36, 40 and 13%, respectively. These results highlight the importance of using an optimal rule to improve IEAs, and more broadly for voluntary public good provision.
McGinty, Matthew, Garrett Milam, and Alejandro Gelves. 2012. "Coalition Stability in Public Goods Provision: Testing an Optimal Allocation Rule." Environmental & Resource Economics 52(3): 327-345.