Weak links, good shots and other public good games: Building on BBV

Richard Cornes, Roger Hartley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We suggest an alternative way of analyzing the canonical Bergstrom-Blume-Varian model of non-cooperative voluntary contributions to a public good that avoids the proliferation of dimensions as the number of players is increased. We exploit this approach to analyze models in which the aggregate level of public good is determined as a more general social composition function of individual gifts - specifically, as a CES form - rather than as an unweighted sum. We also analyze Hirshleifer's weakest-link and best-shot models. In each case, we characterize the set of equilibria, in some cases establishing existence of a unique equilibrium as well as briefly pointing out some interesting comparative static properties. We also study the weakest-link and best-shot limits of the CES composition function and show how the former can be used for equilibrium selection and the latter to establish that equilibria of some better-shot games are identical to those of the much simpler best-shot game. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1684-1707
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • Best shots
  • Non-cooperative games
  • Public goods
  • Weakest links


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