Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Political Economy of Collective Action, Inequality, and Development$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

William D. Ferguson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781503604612

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503604612.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Collective-Action Problems and Institutional Systems

Collective-Action Problems and Institutional Systems

(p.13) 1 Collective-Action Problems and Institutional Systems
The Political Economy of Collective Action, Inequality, and Development

William D. Ferguson

Stanford University Press

A society’s prospects for development depend on its ability to resolve collective-action problems (CAPs). Resolution depends on underlying institutional contexts. Inequality permeates these interactions. This chapter introduces CAPs, institutions, institutional systems, social orders, and political settlements. CAPs arise when individuals, pursuing their own goals, generate undesirable outcomes for some group. First-order CAPs concern forms of free riding; second-order CAPs concern orchestrating the coordination and enforcement that render agreements to limit free riding credible. Discussion proceeds to distinguish informal and formal institutions (norms and rules) from organizations (structured groups of individuals that can take action). Institutional systems are complementary mixes of institutions and organizations, where the latter play critical roles in resolving second-order CAPs. Social orders are large-scale institutional systems. Political settlements are mutual understandings that limit organized violence by addressing broad allocations of authority and benefits.

Keywords:   collective-action problems (CAPs), first-order CAPs, second-order CAPs, institutions, organizations, institutional systems, social orders, political settlements

Stanford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.