Public Action for Public Goods
AbstractThis paper focuses on the relationship between public action and access to public goods. It begins by developing a simple model to capture the various mechanisms that are discussed in the theoretical literature on collective action. We use the model to illustrate the special assumptions embedded in many popular theories of collective action and show how their apparently conflicting predictions can be reconciled in a more general framework. This is followed by a review of empirical research on collective action and public goods. These studies, while broadly consistent with the theoretical literature, account for a small part of the observed variation in provision. Access to public goods is often better explained by "top-down" interventions rather than the "bottom-up" processes highlighted in the collective action literature. We conclude with a discussion of some historically important interventions of this type.
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public goods; collective action;
Other versions of this item:
- Banerjee, Abhijit & Iyer, Lakshmi & Somanathan, Rohini, 2007. "Public Action for Public Goods," CEPR Discussion Papers 6154, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer & Rohini Somanathan, 2007. "Public Action for Public Goods," NBER Working Papers 12911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
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