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Evaluation of cumulative externality: environmental economics, oligopoly and the private provision of public goods

Holloway, G. (2014) Evaluation of cumulative externality: environmental economics, oligopoly and the private provision of public goods. Environmental Economics, 2014 (2). pp. 90-98. ISSN 1998-605X

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This paper evaluates environmental externality when the structure of the externality is cumulative. The evaluation exercise is based on the assumption that the agents in question form conjectural variations. A number of environments are encompassed within this classification and have received due attention in the literature. Each of these heterogeneous environments, however, possesses considerable analytical homogeneity and permit subscription to a general model treatment. These environments include environmental externality, oligopoly and the analysis of the private provision of public goods. We highlight the general analytical approach by focusing on this latter context, in which debate centers around four issues: the existence of free-riding, the extent to which contributions are matched equally across individuals, the nature of conjectures consistent with equilibrium, and the allocative inefficiency of alternative regimes. This paper resolves each of these issues, with the following conclusions: A consistent-conjectures equilibrium exists in the private provision of public goods. It is the monopolistic-conjectures equilibrium. Agents act identically, contributing positive amounts of the public good in an efficient allocation of resources. There is complete matching of contributions among agents, no free-riding, and the allocation is independent of the number of members within the community. Thus the Olson conjecture—that inefficiency is exacerbated by community size—has no foundation in a consistent-conjectures, cumulative-externality, context (212 words).

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Agri-Food Economics & Marketing
ID Code:36788
Publisher:Business Perspectives


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