The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups

The third edition of our Areté Collection was launched, through Almedina. The book The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, a 1965 classic by Mancur Olson, for the first time ever fully translated into Portuguese, is prefaced by Paulo Trigo Pereira.

The book argues that there are a number of public goods produced by organizations, associations, and the state (defense and education, for example) that society serves, although not all contribute to it equitably (or are forced to do so) in the form of taxes, for example). And in some cases people are grouped into associations, companies, unions, etc.; but the intrinsic motivation is always a certain type of incentive and the expectation of the benefit that may result.

On the other hand, the State, organizations and associations can make themselves pay for these goods and services in different ways (taxes, quotas, donations, etc.). Combining economic analysis, social and sociological theory, the work pioneered the critical examination of the forms of organization in society, the intervention of the State in it, and how the underlying logic of collective action (hence the title) fulfills its purposes.

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