We study the provision problem of an asymmetrically valued public project using a novel mechanism proposed by Van Essen and Walker (2017). Under this mechanism, each player simultaneously submits a price (either a contribution or a requested compensation) and a desired project quantity. In our context, two non-hosts interact with the project’s host, who gets harmed by provision. The minimum submitted quantity is provided if the contributions are sufficient to cover the building costs and the host’s requested compensation. We test the efficiency-enhancing effects of communication and find that, although it led to larger provided quantities, the probability of provision is unaffected, and the non-hosts kept most of the efficiency surplus. Moreover, the effect of communication disappears in settings where the host demands a larger compensation in equilibrium. The coding of chat logs reveals that veto threats are rare (1%), although the mechanism allows to do so. Reaching non-binding agreements and the host’s engagement with communication are positively correlated with the probability of provision.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)