Cover: The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, With a New Preface and Appendix, from Harvard University PressCover: The Logic of Collective Action in PAPERBACK

Harvard Economic Studies 124

The Logic of Collective Action

Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, With a New Preface and Appendix

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Product Details


$34.50 • £27.95 • €31.00

ISBN 9780674537514

Publication Date: 01/01/1971


208 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

1 figure

Harvard Economic Studies


  • Preface, 1971
  • Introduction
  • I. A Theory of Groups and Organizations
    • A. The purpose of organization
    • B. Public goods and large groups
    • C. The traditional theory of groups
    • D. Small groups
    • E. “Exclusive” and “inclusive” groups
    • F. A taxonomy of groups
  • II. Group Size and Group Behavior
    • A. The coherence and effectiveness of small groups
    • B. Problems of the traditional theories
    • C. Social incentives and rational behavior
  • III. The Labor Union and Economic Freedom
    • A. Coercion in labor unions
    • B. Labor-union growth in theory and practice
    • C. The closed shop and economic freedom in the latent group
    • D. Government intervention and economic freedom in the latent group
  • IV. Orthodox Theories of State and Class
    • A. The economists’ theory of the state
    • B. The Marxian theory of state and class
    • C. The logic of the Marxian theory
  • V. Orthodox Theories of Pressure Groups
    • A. The philosophical view of pressure groups
    • B. Institutional economics and the pressure group—John R. Commons
    • C. Modern theories of pressure groups—Bentley, Truman, Latham
    • D. The logic of group theory
  • VI. The “By-Product” and “Special Interest” Theories
    • A. The “by-product” theory of large pressure groups
    • B. Labor lobbies
    • C. Professional lobbies
    • D. The “special interest” theory and business lobbies
    • E. Government promotion of political pressure
    • F. Farm cooperatives and farm lobbies
    • G. Noneconomic lobbies
    • H. The “forgotten groups”—those who suffer in silence
  • Appendix
  • Index

Awards & Accolades

  • 1994 Leon Epstein Outstanding Book Award, Political Organizations and Parties Section of the American Political Science Association
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