Public Choice

, Volume 117, Issue 3–4, pp 315–331

Which Public Goods are Endangered?: How Evolving Communication Technologies Affect The Logic of Collective Action

  • Arthur Lupia
  • Gisela Sin
Article

Abstract

The theory in Mancur Olson's The Logicof Collective Action is built fromhistorically uncontroversial assumptionsabout interpersonal communication. Today,evolving technologies are changingcommunication dynamics in ways thatinvalidate some of these onceuncontroversial assumptions. How dothese changes affect Olson's thesis? Usingresearch tools that were not available toOlson, we differentiate collective actionsthat new communication technologies helpfrom the endeavors that they hurt. In theprocess, we refine some of Olson'sbest-known ideas. For example, we find thatevolving communication technologieseliminate many of the organizationaladvantages that Olson attributed to smallgroups.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Crawford, V. and Sobel, J. (1982). Strategic information transmission. Econometrica 50: 1431–1451.Google Scholar
  2. Druckman, J.N. and Lupia, A. (N.d.). Making strategic communication models more persuasive: Theoretical modifications and an experiment. In R.B. Morton (Ed.), Formal models and experiments in political science (in press).Google Scholar
  3. Farrell, J. and Gibbons, R. (1989). Cheap talk with two audiences. American Economic Review 79: 1214–1223.Google Scholar
  4. Gates, B. (1999). Business @ the speed of thought: Succeeding in the digital economy. New York: Warner Books.Google Scholar
  5. Lupia, A. and McCubbins, M.D. (1998). The democratic dilemma: Can citizens learn what they need to know? New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Lupia, A. and Strom, K. (1995). Coalition termination and the strategic timing of parliamentary elections. American Political Science Review 89: 648–665.Google Scholar
  7. Olson, M. (1965). The logic of collective action: Public goods and the theory of groups. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Olson, M. (2000). Power and prosperity: Outgrowing communist and capitalist dictatorships.New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  9. Resnick, P. and Zeckhauser, R. (N.d.). Trust among strangers in internet transactions: Empirical analysis of eBay's reputation system. The economics of the internet and E-commerce. In M.R. Baye (Ed.), Advances in applied microeconomics, Volume 11. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science. Forthcoming.Google Scholar
  10. Spence, A.M. (1973). Job market signaling. Quarterly Journal of Economics 87: 355–374.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur Lupia
    • 1
  • Gisela Sin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations