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Esteem-based contributions and optimality in public goods supply


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Brennan, G and Brooks, M 2007 , 'Esteem-based contributions and optimality in public goods supply' , Public Choice, vol. 130, no. 1- 4 , pp. 457-470 , doi: 10.1007/s11127-006-9098-9.

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In a paper published in this journal, Cowen (2002) argues that whenever compliance
with norms is supported by the forces of esteem, there is “too little” norm compliance.
In this paper, we show that Cowen’s logic is flawed – that when the operation of esteem-based
norms is formally modelled, no such general a priori conclusion follows.We investigate the
conditions that would be necessary to ensure that esteem incentives for public goods contributions
generate optimality in public goods supply, and indicate on that basis the conditions
for voluntary sub-optimal and supra-optimal public goods provision in the esteem context.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Brennan, G and Brooks, M
Keywords: Esteem . Public goods . Voluntary provision . Optimality and market failure
Journal or Publication Title: Public Choice
Publisher: Springer New York
ISSN: 0048-5829
DOI / ID Number: 10.1007/s11127-006-9098-9
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