Public goods in networks

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This paper considers incentives to provide goods that are non-excludable along social or geographic links. We find, first, that networks can lead to specialization in public good provision. In every social network there is an equilibrium where some individuals contribute and others free ride. In many networks, this extreme is the only outcome. Second, specialization can benefit society as a whole. This outcome arises when contributors are linked, collectively, to many agents. Finally, a new link increases access to public goods, but reduces individual incentives to contribute. Hence, overall welfare can be higher when there are holes in a network. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bramoullé, Y; Kranton, R

Published Date

  • July 1, 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 135 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 478 - 494

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-7235

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-0531

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jet.2006.06.006

Citation Source

  • Scopus