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Managing public goods under uncertainty

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Item Summary

Title: Managing public goods under uncertainty
Authors: D'Evelyn, Sean Thomas
Keywords: public goods
Issue Date: May 2011
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2011]
Abstract: This dissertation is comprised of three studies on the economics of managing public goods under uncertainty. The first study uses a general public goods framework motivated by recent climate change mitigation efforts. It uses an experimental methodology to better understand the strategic component of voluntary public goods provision. The study compares a treatment in which subjects write down their strategies but keep them private to a treatment in which they make these strategies public. This study not only improves our understanding of subjects' strategies regarding public goods and how those evolve, but also provides a mechanism that may sustain higher efficiency levels over time.
The second study in this dissertation presents a model of technological innovation for a good that can yield significant social benefits. It uses a theoretical framework to model the interactions between a firm with a research project and a government grant agency. In this case the government does not know the exact probability that the project can yield a successful innovation. The grant agency sets funding rates in attempt to encourage the firm to truthfully reveal this information. This project combines two strands of literature, one in which entrepreneurs contract with investors to fund their own private research projects and one in which government agencies elicit contracts from private individuals to achieve social goals.
The third study in this dissertation characterizes the problem of managing an invasive species that causes ecological and economic damage to its environment. It uses both a theoretical framework and the specific example of brown tree snakes on Saipan to look at optimal management when the invasive species population is unknown. In this study the uncertainty remains throughout the entire management period and dynamically evolves over time. This dynamic uncertainty is a sharp break from previous literature on species management that typically either assumes known population levels or makes assumptions that reduces the problem to one with certainty.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Economics

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