Public Choice

, Volume 164, Issue 3, pp 217–234

The Logic of Collective Action and beyond


DOI: 10.1007/s11127-015-0266-7

Cite this article as:
Congleton, R.D. Public Choice (2015) 164: 217. doi:10.1007/s11127-015-0266-7


This article provides an overview of Mancur Olson’s Logic of Collective Action and its impact on Olson’s subsequent work. It also suggests that the implications of his simple, elegant, theory have not yet been fully worked out. To illustrate this point, the second half of the essay demonstrates that the number of privileged and latent groups and their costs in a given society are not entirely determined by economic factors or group size alone. Politics, technology, and culture also matter.


Mancur OlsonCollective actionPolitics and effects of interest groupsCost of collective actionCulture and interest groupsRent-seeking

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA