Putting the puzzle together: Why people join public interest groups
Why people join organizations, especially public interest groups, has been an unsolved puzzle. In this analysis, choice-based probability methods are employed to combine data from the 1980 National Election Study with comparable information about Common Cause members and to estimate models of the participation calculus that put the pieces of the puzzle together. The results demonstrate the primary importance of political interest and policy preferences for the membership choice. Citizens who are politically interested and have preferences that roughly match an organization's reputation find that associational membership has both greater benefits and lower costs for them than it does for others. Variations in the costs of communication — to the degree that they can be measured — are unimportant for the joining decision. An ability to pay is also irrelevant, regardless of educational attainment and despite members' high incomes. Organizational leaders deliberately keep the costs of membership low relative to most citizens' ability to pay; this encourages potential contributors to join in order to learn about the organization. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 60 (1989)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/public+finance/journal/11127/PS2|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- James Kau & Paul Rubin, 1979. "Public interest lobbies: membership and influence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 45-54, March.
- George J. Stigler, 1974. "Free Riders and Collective Action: An Appendix to Theories of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 5(2), pages 359-365, Autumn.
- Richard Barke & William Riker, 1982. "A political theory of regulation with some observations on railway abandonments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 73-106, January.
- Manski, Charles F & Lerman, Steven R, 1977. "The Estimation of Choice Probabilities from Choice Based Samples," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(8), pages 1977-88, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:60:y:1989:i:3:p:241-257. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.