Decentralized Pricing in Minimum Cost Spanning Trees

Jens Leth Hougaard, Hervé Moulin, Lars Peter Østerdal

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEconomic Theory
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)293–306
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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

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