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 of collective action which is intended to capture the various mechanisms that are discussed in the theoretical literature on collective action. We argue that several of these intuitive theoretical arguments rely on special additional assumptions that are often not made clear. We then review the empirical work based on the predictions of these models of collective action. While the available evidence is generally consistent with these theories, there is a dearth of quality evidence. Moreover, a large part of the variation in access to public goods seems to have nothing to do with the "bottom-up" forces highlighted in these models and instead reflect more "top-down" interventions. We conclude with a discussion of some of the historical evidence on top-down interventions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12911.
Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Other versions of this item:
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-02-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2007-02-24 (Development)
- NEP-PBE-2007-02-24 (Public Economics)
- NEP-POL-2007-02-24 (Positive Political Economics)
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