Internalization of social cost in congestion games

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Congestion models may be studied from either the users’ point of view or the social one. The first perspective examines the incentives of individual users, who are only interested in their own, personal payoff or cost and ignore the negative externalities that their choice of resources creates for the other users. The second perspective concerns social goals such as the minimization of the mean travel time in a transportation network. This paper studies a more general setting, in which individual users attach to the social cost some weight r that is not necessarily 0 or 1. It examines the comparative statics question of whether higher r necessarily means higher social welfare at equilibrium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-760
Number of pages44
JournalEconomic Theory
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Altruism
  • Congestion games
  • Potential games
  • Price of anarchy
  • Social cost
  • Stability of equilibrium


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