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The Collective Action Problem: Within-Group Cooperation and Between-Group Competition in a Repeated Rent-Seeking Game

  • Cheikbossian, Guillaume

This paper analyzes the ability of group members to cooperate in rent-seeking activities in a context of between-group competition. For this purpose, we develop an infinitely repeated rent-seeking game between two groups of different size. We first investigate Nash reversion strategies to support cooperative behavior in a given group before analyzing double-edge trigger strategies which have the property that cheating on the cooperative agreement in a given group is followed by non-cooperation in this group and cooperation in the rival group. The main conclusion is that the set of parameters for which cooperation can be sustained within the larger group as a subgame perfect outcome is as large as that for which cooperation can be sustained in the smaller group. Hence, in contrast with Olson’s (1965) celebrated thesis but in accordance with many informal and formal observations, the larger group is as effective as the smaller group in furthering its interest.

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 09-085.

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Date of creation: 24 Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:22192
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  16. Cheikbossian, Guillaume, 2009. "The Collective Action Problem: Within-Group Cooperation and Between-Group Competition in a Repeated Rent-Seeking Game," TSE Working Papers 09-085, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  17. Martin McGuire, 1974. "Group size, group homo-geneity, and the aggregate provision of a pure public good under cournot behavior," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 107-126, June.
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