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Faculty of Economics


Elliott, M. and Golub, B.

A Network Approach to Public Goods


Abstract: Suppose agents can exert costly effort that creates nonrival, heterogeneous benefits for each other. At each possible outcome, a weighted, directed network describing marginal externalities is defined. We show that Pareto efficient outcomes are those at which the largest eigenvalue of the network is 1. An important set of efficient solutions - Lindahl outcomes - are characterized by contributions being proportional to agents' eigenvector centralities in the network. The outcomes we focus on are motivated by negotiations. We apply the results to identify who is essential for Pareto improvements, how to efficiently subdivide negotiations, and whom to optimally add to a team.

Author links: Matthew Elliott  


Open Access Link:

Published Version of Paper: A Network Approach to Public Goods, Elliott, M. and Golub, B., Journal of Political Economy (2019)

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