QED Working Paper Number

Experiments with multiple threshold public goods provide insight into how groups overcome coordination issues to collectively select and fund one option from a set of alternatives. We investigate how funding, selection, and success of public goods are impacted by endowment and preference heterogeneity. Groups tend to focus on and successfully fund the option that is preferred by the wealthiest group member, demonstrating a wealthy-interest policy bias even in the absence of corruption, politics, and information asymmetries. At the same time, we demonstrate how groups converge to divide costs in highly progressive ways, with differences in voluntary contributions mostly offsetting differences in endowments or benefits received. We discuss implications for policy selection, charitable giving, and public finance.

Luca Corazzini
Enrico Longo
Tommaso Reggiani
JEL Codes
pro-rich bias
lab experiment
public goods
threshold public goods
campaign contributions
policy selection
Working Paper