Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Economics

First Advisor

Dr. Vjollca Sadiraj

Second Advisor

Dr. James C. Cox

Third Advisor

Dr. Thomas A. Mroz

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jan Tuinstra

Abstract

The focus of the research is to study mechanisms that can raise the total social welfare in social dilemmas in exogenous networks. The two chapters apply experimental and empirical designs based on an underlying theoretical model which studies the effect of network structure on the group and individual behavior in laboratory settings.

The first chapter studies the efficacy of two cost sharing rules in raising efficiency in a best shot public goods game. The two cost sharing rules align individual incentive with group efficiency. The first is a local cost sharing rule, where individuals who invest receive a transfer from each of their neighbors who do not invest. The second is a global cost sharing rule, where the total cost of investment is equally divided among members who benefit from the public good.

The second chapter studies the effectiveness of two communication architectures in resolving inefficiencies in the provision of local public goods. Communication can help with coordination by lowering strategic uncertainty. The two communication structures I study are the following: (i) global, where everyone in the group can talk, (ii) local, where only neighbors can communicate with each other.

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