By Russell Hardin
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Extra info for Collective Action
But the problem of collective provision has probably been clarified, although also often confused, by conceiving of the goods that groups seek as public goods. Often it is technically wrong to do so except in some abstract sense. For example, unions seek better pay for their members. Clearly, more money every week for every worker is not a public good in joint supply, because one worker's wages are available to no other. It is the higher wage rate sought by the union that might be seen as a public good, if, once the rate is established, it benefits all the relevant workers so that one worker's receipt of the higher rate does not reduce the rate available to others.
Whatever the rationales of players in experimental Prisoner's Dilemmas, we can probably safely generalize from the 2-person results to n-person behavior in some respects. In particular, we can probably conclude that cooperativeness will not increase, other things being equal, as n increases beyond 2 (but see chapter 3 for fuller discussion of the effects of increasing n). Some experimental data suggest that about one-half of all players cooperate with, and one-half exploit, a 100 percent cooperative adversary-partner in 2-person Prisoner's Dilemma.
18 Figure 2-2. Individual vs. Collective. 8 0 If all members of the group pay 1 unit (for a total cost of 10 units), the benefit to each member will be 2 units (for a collective good of 20). The individual payoffs will be benefit less cost, or I unit. In matrix 2 of figure 2-2 , the first row shows the payoffs to Individual if Individual contributes (pays); the first column gives per capita payoffs to the remaining members of the group, that is, to Collective, if they pay. The second row shows the payoffs to Individual if Individual does not pay, and the second column indicates those for Collective if it does not pay.
Collective Action by Russell Hardin