Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods in Health Care: A Cumulative Dissertation

  • Mayer, Susanne (Researcher)

Project Details


From a welfare perspective, the two central properties of public goods – non-excludability and non-rivalry – imply that a less than optimal amount of the public good is provided voluntarily. In particular, existing game theoretical research has long stated that the voluntary provision of a public good is relatively higher if individuals contribute simultaneously instead of sequentially. Leadership in public goods was thus deemed detrimental, which, however, runs counter to everyday experience. In fact, many common projects (e.g., health care reforms) and other collective actions (e.g., blood donations, first aid) are successfully completed because an individual takes the lead and gets others to contribute, that is to say sequential mechanisms with a leader are chosen over simultaneous setups. To formalize this intuition, we model collective action as a public goods game that explicitly differs from previous models by not being restricted to a linear production function. In the first dissertation article, it is thus possible to prove the Pareto-superiority of sequential setups from a previously unconsidered, rational perspective. By means of the public good „first aid“, these theoretical conclusions are tested experimentally in the second dissertation study. Finally, in the third article, voluntary contributions to public goods in health care are analyzed drawing on a qualitative approach.
Effective start/end date10/05/1030/04/14