Strategic bias and demand for public goods. Theory and an application to the arts

C. D. Throsby*, Glenn A. Withers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


This paper provides new evidence on bias in preference revelation and valuation of public goods. It does so through the systematic definition of free-rider, mixed-good, information and social choice problems and by a survey application to the case of valuing social benefit from the arts. These sources of bias are each found to be significant. It is also found that free-rider behaviour is random with respect to observable socio-demographic characteristics. Allowing for bias, aggregate public good benefit necessary for public support of arts is still established. The study therefore demonstrates not only the significance of free-rider and other biases in eliciting public good demand, but also practicable techniques for allowing for these effects via a survey method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-327
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1986


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