H.R. Bowen showed that if voters have equal tax shares and if marginal rates of substitution are symmetrically distributed, then majority voting leads to efficient provision of public goods. These conditions are not likely to apply in a community with asymmetric income distribution. This paper defines a new idea for public goods allocation, a "pseudo-Lindahl equilibrium" which combines majority voting with tax rates that depend on income and other observable characteristices in such a way that the majority rule outcome is Pareto optimal for an interesting class of societies. The informational requirements for implementing pseudo-Lindahl are much less stringent than those required for an ordinary Lindahl equilibrium.

# Your search: "author:Bergstrom, Ted"

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## Scholarly Works (138 results)

This paper explores the workings of stratified societies in which there is primogeniture and where the nobility practice monogamous marriage with a double standard of sexual fidelity. We model a simple stratified society and define the reproductive values of the male and female nobility relative to that of commoners. We then explore implications of the hypothesis that preferences have evolved to favor maximization of reproductive value. The hypothesis is tested against fragmentary data from ancient civilizations and quite detailed information about the British aristocracy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

If Persons A and B are both benevolent to C, then a gift from A to C also benefits B. Thus C's income is like a public good to A and B. What happens with lots of people whose affections are entangled? This paper shows that a "distributional Lindahl equilibrium" exists and leads to an efficient income redistribution.

Commercial publishers charge libraries about 6 times as much per page and 16 times as much per citation as nonprofit journals. The paper presents evidence that successful for profit journals are priced at several times average cost. They are able to earn "monopoly profits" despite free entry into the industry because journal reputation is the result of a kind of coordination game. The paper advocates withholding free referee services from overpriced journals.

Gary Becker's ``Rotten Kid Theorem'' asserts that if all family members receive gifts of money income from a benevolent household member, then even if the household head does not precommit to an incentive plan for family members, it will be in the interest of selfish family members to maximize total family income. We show by examples that the Rotten Kid theorem is not true without assuming transferable utility. We find a simple condition on utility functions that is necessary and sufficient for there to be the kind of transferable utility needed for a Rotten Kid Theorem. While restrictive, these conditions still allow one to apply the strong conclusions of the Rotten Kid Theorem in an interesting class of examples.

This paper extends the classic Volunteer’s Dilemma game to environments in which individuals have differing costs and private information about their own costs. It explores

the nature of symmetric ethical optimum strategies for Volunteer's Dilemma games with and without differing costs. Where costs differ, ethical optima are constructed by symmetrizing the game with a Rawlsian “Veil of Ignorance

How should benefit-cost analysis account for the value that benevolent individuals place on other people's pleasure from public goods? When adding up the benefits to be compared with costs, should we sum the private valuations, the altruistic valuations, or something else? This paper proposes a partial answer and offers some suggestions for benefit-cost practitioners.

Suppose that each person's utility depends on his or her own consumption as well as on the utilities of others. We consider the question of when a system of interdependent utility functions induces unique utility functions over allocations and identifies the class of transformations on interdependent utility functions that are equivalent in the sense of inducing the same preferences over allocations. We show that well-behaved systems of this kind can be studied by means of the theory of dominant-diagonal matrices and that the theory of dominant-diagonal matrices with finitely many elements extends in a satisfactory way to denumerable matrices. The theory of denumerable dominant diagonal matrices allows an elegant analysis of systems of intergenerational benevolence. We also revisit and extend the theory of two-sided altruism as formulated by Kimball and by Hori and Kanaya.