Non-redundant Groups, the Assurance Game and the Origins of Collective Action
To discuss the origins of collective action, this paper introduces the concept of the nonredundant group (n-group) of persons such that the contributions of all are needed, if outsiders do not contribute, to obtain the collective good. The paper shows that the members of an 'n-group' face the structure of payoffs of the assurance game and, therefore, under certain conditions, will pursue collective action. The paper analyzes the situations where one or several n-groups exist and discusses the conditions under which an individual could know that he is an 'essential member' of the relevant n-group. Copyright 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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