Economic Theory

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 293–306 | Cite as

Decentralized pricing in minimum cost spanning trees

  • Jens Leth Hougaard
  • Hervé Moulin
  • Lars Peter Østerdal
Research Article


In the minimum cost spanning tree model we consider decentralized pricing rules, i.e., rules that cover at least the efficient cost while the price charged to each user only depends upon his own connection costs. We define a canonical pricing rule and provide two axiomatic characterizations. First, the canonical pricing rule is the smallest among those that improve upon the Stand Alone bound, and are either superadditive or piece-wise linear in connection costs. Our second, direct characterization relies on two simple properties highlighting the special role of the source cost.


Pricing rules Minimum cost spanning trees Canonical pricing rule Stand-alone cost Decentralization 

JEL Classification

C71 D60 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jens Leth Hougaard
    • 1
  • Hervé Moulin
    • 2
  • Lars Peter Østerdal
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Food and Resource EconomicsUniversity of CopenhagenFrederiksberg C.Denmark
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsRice UniversityHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen K.Denmark

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