Group specific public goods, orchestration of interest groups with free riding

Gil S. Epstein, Yosef Mealem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


We consider a situation in which two groups contest group-specific public goods. Each member of the group may have a different valuation of the prize. Our model can be interpreted as the contestants' cost of lobbying efforts being non-linear, or the returns to their efforts being decreasing. We show that the level of free-riding depends on the return of the investment. We consider the situation under which one group initiates a contest to which different individuals and/or groups can be added. The question we pose is what is the optimal structure of additional groups?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-369
Number of pages13
JournalPublic Choice
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We thank Ira Gang and Laura Shock for helpful comments and suggestions. We are grateful to two anonymous referees for their helpful and constructive comments. Financial support from the Adar Foundation of the Economics Department of Bar-Ilan University is gratefully acknowledged.


  • Contests
  • Free-riding
  • Heterogeneity
  • Orchestration of interest groups
  • Public good
  • Rent seeking


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