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


  • Lupia, Arthur
  • Sin, Gisela


The theory in Mancur Olson's The Logic of Collective Action is built from historically uncontroversial assumptions about interpersonal communication. Today, evolving technologies are changing communication dynamics in ways that invalidate some of these once uncontroversial assumptions. How do these changes affect Olson's thesis? Using research tools that were not available to Olson, we differentiate collective actions that new communication technologies help from the endeavors that they hurt. In the process, we refine some of Olson's best-known ideas. For example, we find that evolving communication technologies eliminate many of the organizational advantages that Olson attributed to small groups. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Lupia, Arthur & Sin, Gisela, 2003. "Which Public Goods Are Endangered?: How Evolving Communication Technologies Affect The Logic of Collective Action," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 117(3-4), pages 315-331, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:117:y:2003:i:3-4:p:315-31

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    Cited by:

    1. Rixt A. Bijker & Nora Mehnen & Frans J. Sijtsma & Michiel N. Daams, 2014. "Managing Urban Wellbeing in Rural Areas: The Potential Role of Online Communities to Improve the Financing and Governance of Highly Valued Nature Areas," Land, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(2), pages 1-23, June.
    2. Rahman, H.M. Tuihedur & Hickey, Gordon M. & Sarker, Swapan Kumar, 2012. "A framework for evaluating collective action and informal institutional dynamics under a resource management policy of decentralization," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 32-41.
    3. Nitin Agarwal & Merlyna Lim & Rolf Wigand, 2012. "Raising and Rising Voices in Social Media," Business & Information Systems Engineering: The International Journal of WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK, Springer;Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI), vol. 4(3), pages 113-126, June.
    4. repec:eee:phsmap:v:493:y:2018:i:c:p:458-466 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Borck, Rainald & Frank, Bjorn & Robledo, Julio R., 2006. "An empirical analysis of voluntary payments for information goods on the Internet," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 229-239, June.

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