Which public goods are endangered? How evolving communication technologies affect The Logic of Collective Action

Arthur Lupia, Gisela Sin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The theory in Mancur Olson's The Logic of Collective Action is built from historically uncontroversial assumptions about interpersonal communication. Today, evolving technologies are changing communication dynamics in ways that invalidate some of these once uncontroversial assumptions. How do these changes affect Olson's thesis? Using research tools that were not available to Olson, we differentiate collective actions that new communication technologies help from the endeavors that they hurt. In the process, we refine some of Olson's best-known ideas. For example, we find that evolving communication technologies eliminate many of the organizational advantages that Olson attributed to small groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-331
Number of pages17
JournalPublic Choice
Volume117
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics

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