Provision of step-level public goods under uncertainty: A theoretical analysis

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In a typical game examining voluntary contribution to the provision of step-level public goods, each member of a group of size n receives an endowment and then decides privately and anonymously how much of it to contribute for the provision of the good. The good is provided to all group members if and only if their total contribution is equal to, or larger than some threshold. While previous research assumed that group members have complete information about the threshold, the present article relaxes this assumption by treating the threshold as a random variable with a commonly known distribution. Three models, a subjective expected value model, a cooperative model and a strategic model are proposed to account for the individual's contribution decision. General solutions are then derived and their predictions for the case of a uniformly distributed threshold are evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-187
Number of pages25
JournalRationality and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1997


  • Collective action
  • Group decision making
  • Public goods
  • Social dilemmas
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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