Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA, and Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA.
Analyzing collective action
Article first published online: 9 NOV 2010
© 2010 International Association of Agricultural Economists
Volume 41, Issue Supplement s1, pages 155–166, November 2010
How to Cite
Ostrom, E. (2010), Analyzing collective action. Agricultural Economics, 41: 155–166. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-0862.2010.00497.x
This draws on extensive research undertaken with colleagues at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis and on an earlier chapter for The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics, ed. Carles Boix and Susan Stokes (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press). Presentations of earlier drafts were made at Duke University and at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University. The excellent editing of Patty Lezotte and David Price has been of great help.
- Issue published online: 9 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 9 NOV 2010
- Collective action;
- Behavioral theory of human action;
Collective-action problems pervade all societies as well as ecological systems used by humans. Substantial evidence has accrued during the last several decades that human actors are able to solve some (but definitely not all) collective-action problems on their own without external rules and enforcement imposed from the outside. In this article, I review some of the structural variables that have been found to affect the likelihood of collective action. Then, I address the need to base future work on collective action on a more general theory of human behavior than has been used to model collective action over the last five decades. In the last section, I discuss how structural variables affect the core relationships of reputation, trust, and reciprocity as these affect levels of cooperation.