IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Testing the Theory of Collective Action

Listed author(s):
  • John R. Oneal

    (University of Alabama)

Registered author(s):

    Mancur Olson's theory of collective action is tested using pooled cross-sectional and time-series regression analyses of the defense burdens (military expenditures/gross domestic product) of fifteen NATO countries for the years 1950-1984. The influence of four factors is assessed: relative economic size, the intensity of the Cold War, the pursuit of private benefits by three countries in exceptional circumstances, and increased cooperation among the European allies. The results indicate that the alliance is still best characterized as a uniquely privileged group seeking a relatively pure public good: collective security through deterrence. Disaggregated analyses show that, consistent with this conclusion, the United States and its allies differ in theoretically predictable ways not only in the magnitude of their defense burdens but in the influences that shape their military allocations.

    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.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by Peace Science Society (International) in its journal Journal of Conflict Resolution.

    Volume (Year): 34 (1990)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 426-448

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:34:y:1990:i:3:p:426-448
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:34:y:1990:i:3:p:426-448. 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: (SAGE Publications)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.