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External Threat and Collective Action

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  • Emerson M. S. Niou
  • Guofu Tan
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    Abstract

    This article studies how players allocate their endowed resources between productive and conflictual activities in the context of rivalry between two groups. We show that the suboptimality and exploitation propositions established by Olson (1965) do not necessarily apply when external threat is endogenized. We also illustrate that it does not always pay to take an offensive stance. When competing with an offensive group, it might be better for members of a defensive group to remain defensive. Furthermore, in the context of rivalry between two groups, free riding can actually benefit everyone in the system. (JEL D70, D74) Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ei/cbi035
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

    Volume (Year): 43 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 519-530

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:43:y:2005:i:3:p:519-530

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