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2003

Public Law and Legal Theory

Behavior

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Logic Of Reciprocity: Trust, Collective Action, And Law, Dan M. Kahan Oct 2003

The Logic Of Reciprocity: Trust, Collective Action, And Law, Dan M. Kahan

Michigan Law Review

The Logic of Collective Action has for decades supplied the logic of public-policy analysis. In this pioneering application of public choice theory, Mancur Olson elegantly punctured the premise - shared by a variety of political theories - that individuals can be expected to act consistently with the interest of the groups to which they belong. Absent externally imposed incentives, wealth-maximizing individuals, he argued, will rarely find it in their interest to contribute to goods that benefit the group as a whole, but rather will "free ride" on the contributions that other group members make. As a result, too few individuals will contribute ...