School of Economics and Finance

No. 436: Free Riding on Altruism and Group Size

Jean Hindriks , Queen Mary, University of London
Romans Pancs , Queen Mary, University of London

May 1, 2001

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It is shown that altruism does not affect the equilibrium provision of public goods although altruism takes the form of unconditional commitment to contribute. The reason is that altruistic contributions completely crowd out selfish contributions. That is, egoists free ride on altruism. It is also shown that public goods are less likely to be provided in larger groups.

J.E.L classification codes: D64, H41

Keywords:Free Riding, Public good, Altruism