Advertisement

Public Choice

, Volume 174, Issue 3–4, pp 315–334 | Cite as

Between-group contests over group-specific public goods with within-group fragmentation

Article
  • 98 Downloads

Abstract

We model a contest between two groups of equal sized populations over the division of a group-specific public good. Each group is fragmented into subgroups. Each subgroup allocates effort between production and contestation. Perfect coordination is assumed within subgroups, but subgroups cannot coordinate with one another. All subgroups choose effort allocations simultaneously. We find that the group that is more internally fragmented receives the smaller share of the public good. Aggregate rent-seeking increases when the dominant subgroups within both communities have larger population shares. Any unilateral increase in fragmentation within a group reduces conflict and increases the total income of its opponent. Strikingly, the fragmenting community itself may, however, increase its total income as well, even though its share of the public good declines. Hence, a smaller share of public good provisioning cannot be used to infer a negative income effect on the losing community.

Keywords

Contest Group-specific public good Local public good Ethnic conflict Within-group fragmentation 

JEL Classification

D72 D74 O10 O20 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank an anonymous referee for many helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper. We have also benefited greatly from comments by William Shughart.

References

  1. Alesina, A., Baqir, R., & Easterly, W. (1999). Public goods and ethnic divisions. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 114, 1243–1284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baik, K. H. (2008). Contests with group-specific public-good prizes. Social Choice and Welfare, 30, 103–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bergstrom, T. C., Blume, L., & Varian, H. (1986). On the private provision of public goods. Journal of Public Economics, 29, 25–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cheikbossian, G. (2008). Heterogeneous groups and rent-seeking for public goods. European Journal of Political Economy, 24, 133–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Choi, J. P., Chowdhury, S. M., & Kim, J. (2016). Group contests with internal conflict and power asymmetry. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 118, 816–840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chowdhury, S. M., Lee, D., & Sheremeta, R. (2013). Top guns may not fire: Best-shot group contests with group-specific public good prizes. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 92, 94–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dasgupta, I. (2009). ‘Living’ wage, class conflict and ethnic strife. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 72, 750–765.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dasgupta, I. (2017). Linguistic assimilation and ethno-religious conflict. In W. Buchholz & D. Rübbelke (Eds.), The theory of externalities and public goods: Essays in memory of Richard C. Cornes (pp. 219–242). Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dasgupta, I., & Kanbur, R. (2005a). Community and anti-poverty targeting. Journal of Economic Inequality, 3, 281–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dasgupta, I., & Kanbur, R. (2005b). Bridging communal divides: Separation, patronage, integration. In C. Barrett (Ed.), The social economics of poverty: On identities, groups, communities and networks (pp. 146–170). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Dasgupta, I., & Kanbur, R. (2007). Community and class antagonism. Journal of Public Economics, 91, 1816–1842.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dasgupta, I., & Kanbur, R. (2011). Does philanthropy reduce inequality? Journal of Economic Inequality, 9, 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Epstein, G. S., & Mealem, Y. (2009). Group specific public goods, orchestration of interest groups with free riding. Public Choice, 139, 357–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Esteban, J., & Ray, D. (2001). Collective action and the group size paradox. American Political Science Review, 95, 663–672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Esteban, J., & Ray, D. (2011). A model of ethnic conflict. Journal of the European Economic Association, 9, 496–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gradstein, M. (1993). Rent-seeking and the provision of public goods. Economic Journal, 103, 1236–1243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hausken, K. (2005). Production and conflict models versus rent-seeking models. Public Choice, 123, 59–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Katz, E., Nitzan, J., & Rosenberg, S. (1990). Rent-seeking for pure public goods. Public Choice, 65, 49–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kolmar, M., & Rommeswinkel, H. (2013). Contests with group-specific public goods and complementarities in efforts. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 89, 9–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lee, D. (2012). Weakest-link contests with group-specific public good prizes. European Journal of Political Economy, 28, 238–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Miguel, E., & Gugerty, M. K. (2005). Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya. Journal of Public Economics, 89, 2325–2368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Montalvo, J. G., & Reynal-Querol, M. (2012). Inequality, polarization, and conflict. In M. Garfinkel & S. Skaperdas (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of the economics of peace and conflict (pp. 152–178). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Münster, J. (2007). Simultaneous inter- and intra-group conflicts. Economic Theory, 32, 333–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Olson, M. (1965). The logic of collective action: Public goods and the theory of groups. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Riaz, K., Shogren, J. F., & Johnson, S. R. (1995). A general model of rent-seeking for pure public goods. Public Choice, 82, 243–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tullock, G. (1980). Efficient rent seeking. In J. M. Buchanan, R. D. Tollison, & G. Tullock (Eds.), Toward a theory of the rent-seeking society (pp. 97–112). College Station: Texas A&M University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Ursprung, H. W. (1990). Public goods, rent dissipation, and candidate competition. Economics and Politics, 2, 115–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economic Research UnitIndian Statistical InstituteKolkataIndia

Personalised recommendations