• List Price: $30.00
  • Save: $19.38 (65%)
Rented from RentU
To Rent, select Shipping State from options above
Due Date: Aug 17, 2014
FREE return shipping at the end of the semester. Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with rentals.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by RentU
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Fast shipping from Amazon! Qualifies for Prime Shipping and FREE standard shipping for orders over $35. Overnight, 2 day and International shipping available! Excellent Customer Service.. May not include supplements such as CD, access code or DVD.
Add to Cart
Qty:1
  • List Price: $30.00
  • Save: $4.00 (13%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it tomorrow, April 17? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Trade in your item
Get a $4.24
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, Second printing with new preface and appendix (Harvard Economic Studies) Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0674537514 ISBN-10: 0674537513 Edition: Revised

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$877.99 $17.57
Paperback
"Please retry"
$26.00
$19.38 $6.48
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$15.99

Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student



Frequently Bought Together

The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, Second printing with new preface and appendix (Harvard Economic Studies) + Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States
Price for both: $49.35

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Sell Your Books
Get up to 75% back when you sell your books on Amazon. Ship your books for free and get Amazon.com Gift Cards. Learn more.

Product Details

  • Series: Harvard Economic Studies (Book 124)
  • Paperback: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Revised edition (January 31, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674537513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674537514
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

There is now a considerable body of literature which attempts to apply economic analysis to political problems. In my opinion, Olson's is one of the most successful and provocative of these attempts. Olson's central insight is novel and illuminating to political scientists and he shows that by the use of it he can give familiar facts (about labor unions, farm organizations, and other interest groups) new meaning. I believe that his work is going to force the jettisoning of much of what has been said about interest groups and the revision of the rest. It should also have an influence on the many political scientists who work in the field of organization. (Edward C. Banfield, Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Urban Government, Harvard University)

About the Author

Bryan Garsten is Professor of Political Science, Yale University. --This text refers to the Unbound edition.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
14
4 star
6
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
1
See all 22 customer reviews
The book is highly readable and extremely thought-provoking.
Richard E. Mendales
Mancur Olson's The Logic of Collective Action is one of the best arguments I have read on the theory of groups.
Denis Benchimol Minev
Olson and Tullock enable us to make greater sense of world history.
D. W. MacKenzie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Denis Benchimol Minev on April 8, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mancur Olson's The Logic of Collective Action is one of the best arguments I have read on the theory of groups. Given its age (it was originally written in the 1960s), it does not include much of the later scholarship on the subject.
However, it is a great introduction to collective action, as the basic argument has not changed: groups in which the benefits from collective goods cannot be denied to people are very difficult to organize. Organization will more lilkey come about when there is one (or a small number of) individual whose cost of action is lower than his own expected benefits; this leads to an exploitation by the small of the large, which is an interesting and counterintutive situation.
Olson provides a wide array of examples, which are of course old but nonetheless relevant. Examples include farming organizations, trade unions, business pressure groups, medical associations, etc. Overall, I found this book to be very interesting and easy to read, as the economics hardly ever go beyond basic math. For people who like rational arguments, it will be a pleasure to read this. The most interesting portion of the book, in my opinion, is the author's argument why Marxism does not work in practice in the way that Marx predicted.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Øystein Sjølie on April 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
In this influential work, Mancur Olson is dismissing the 'classical' group theories, as he calls them. Rational individuals will rarely contribute to a common (or collective in the economics-lingo) good, because their contribution will be insignificant and the good will be produced whether the individual provides the good or not. With his stringent logic, the late Olson reminds his readers that groups of all kinds consist of individuals, and that these individuals usually follow there own interest, which not necessarily correspond with the organization's.
The book's explanatory powers are tremendous. Why large groups very rarely if ever are able to organize, and at the same time why some small groups exercise extraordinary amounts of power is Olsons main point of interest. In the very interesting last chapter he describes which features an organization, be it a farmer union, a labor union, a profession lobby or a special interest group, must inhibit to attain members.
The best trait of the book (at least for this reviewing economist) is the persuasive logic with which the arguments are hammered home, and the instructive examples that are used to illustrate the point just made. One little objection should be Olson's (human) tendency to arrogance when he is most pleased with his own conclusions. However: still an excellent read, 40 years after it's first printing.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By D. W. MacKenzie on April 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many people discuss the influence of groups, but few really understand why some groups have are more effective than others. Mancur Olson crafted subtle and persuasive arguments explaining why special interest groups are often so effective. People participate in groups according to the expected marginal costs and benefits. Problems with group action emerge when we consider externalities and public goods provision within groups.

Olson's theory is applied to labor unions, corporations, and other pressure groups. Olson also has a critique of Marxian class theory which drives one more nail into the coffin of communism. The Logic of Collective Action is important because it explains so much about how real groups have functioned throughout history. Pressure groups date back to the ancient world, and Olson's theory fits very well with this experience.

Olson's ideas need further dissemination because most people get the special interest issue wrong. Most people recognize that pressure groups are often pernicious. But all too many people think that undue special interest influence is just a current phase that can be dealt with in a simple manner. This book indicates that we really should reconsider the role of government in society, especially at the Federal level. Olson is certainly not an anarchist, he insists that there are some things that government can and should do. However, the inevitability of special interest influence does make it impossible for government to function as many would like it too. Read this book along with Gordon Tullock's The Politics of Bureaucracy. Olson and Tullock enable us to make greater sense of world history.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous Reader on August 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
I initially read Mancur Olson's The Logic of Collective Action over 30 years ago, and have found it to be a seminal work of economic scholarship that resonates over the decades. This masterpiece is in urgent need of new attention, especially as America confronts its role in a post September 11 society.

Olson's theory is deceptively simple: goods that are primarily public (everything from a town park to a cruise missile) suffer from a "free rider" problem, in that most of those who would benefit from their provision are not personally motivated to pay for them. Thus, collective action, undertaken through the political sphere, is needed to provide goods and services intended for the collective welfare.

"The Logic of Collective Action" is based on economic theory. Olson's theory recognizes that competitive markets are the best source of private goods, but draws an articulate and compelling case for the intervention of government to provide those goods and services that are beneficial for society, but which cannot be offered effectively through market mechanisms.

A re-reading of this concise and well-written volume is urgently needed in 2007 America. For close to three decades, the downsizing of government has been the dominant theme in U.S. political life. Some of this trimming may well have been appropriate, but events of recent years (September 11, the Katrina hurricane, the possibility of adverse climate change) suggest that collective action is needed to address the most pressing problems of our time.

Olson's gem of a book is a worthwhile place to start our national reconsideration of the logic of collective action.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa60c44c8)