ThoughtStorms Wiki

In his book 'Power' KeithDowding lists 11 types (or features?) of CollectiveActionProblems:

1. Free-riding

‘It exists wherever there is non-excludability.’

‘Non-excludability entails the free-rider problem, since a rational self-interested utility maximiser will see no benefit in contributing towards a collective good that she will receive anyway.’

2. Recognition of interests

‘even where there is no free-rider problem and individuals are in a positive sum coordination game, they will not cooperate unless they are aware that it is a positive sum coordination game.’

3. Relative costs

Costs of contributions to public goods relative to other (private) goods.

4. Group size

In two senses: perceptibility; relative importance of individual contribution (eg. possibility of being 'swinging').

5. Group homogeneity

‘The more homogenous the group, the easier it is to discover any shared preferences, the fewer the cross-cutting cleavages, and thus the sources of conflict within the group.’

On the other hand – ‘If the group is heterogenous in wealth terms, then it may be easier to secure collective action’ if very rich members have in interest in individually producing the good.

6. Group interactiveness

Some references I need to chase - Russell Hardin 1982 'Collective Action', Marwell and Oliver 1993 'Critical Mass in Collective Action'.

7. Opposition

‘The fact of a rival group organising itself successfully can act as a spur to collective action’

But ‘opposing groups can also act to stultify the mobilisation in the early stages’

8. The number of non-rival demands

Individuals set aside some (limited) resources for ‘group donations’ as a whole. ‘They are rivals for my money but can be described as non-rival in my affections.’

9. Increasing or decreasing well-being

Related to 3. - 'relatuve costs'.

One factor, which can have different interesting effects, is how they vary with agents' income ('income effect'). E.g. the rich may give more to charity, but the poor may have greatest need for collective action and in sometimes the least to lose by risky attempts at it.

10. continual or one-off

different production functions eg step

eg charities seen as 'continuous' but membership benefit orgs such as trades unions 'step'.

11. coordination (costs of)