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Political Leadership and Collective Goods

Political Leadership and Collective Goods

Copyright Date: 1971
Pages: 178
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  • Book Info
    Political Leadership and Collective Goods
    Book Description:

    Using the assumptions of rationality and self-interest common to economic analysis, Professors Frohlich, Oppenheimer, and Young develop a profit-making theory of political behavior as it pertains to the supply of collective goods-defense, law and order, clean air, highways.

    Originally published in 1971.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-7241-1
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Foreword
    (pp. vii-x)
    Marion J. Levy Jr.

    The rationality of politics has always fired the imagination and defied the solutions of men. Whom do we feel to be more instrumentally oriented than professional politicians? Still, only Machiavelli has produced a work which pursues the implications of rationality relentlessly in this field. In doing so, Machiavelli became infamous because we were all incapable of separating him from the effects to which he told us the rationality of a political leader would lead. One of the peculiarities implied by most savants who did push any concept of rationality on the part of political leadership was the apparent irrationality or...

  3. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    Norman Frohlich, Joe A. Oppenheimer and Oran R. Young
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. xv-2)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 3-11)

    We define a collective good as any good that cannot be withheld from any member of a specified group once it is supplied to one member of that group.¹ Two characteristics of collective goods are immediately important. First, collective goods are generally costly to supply. This is so whether the good in question is defense, law and order, clear air, or a bridge over a major river.² Second, collective goods cannot be supplied through market mechanisms in a social structure. Market mechanisms are defined in terms of the supply of goods to individuals on an exclusive basis, a characteristic that...

  6. CHAPTER ONE Noncompetitive Politics
    (pp. 12-44)

    A number of theorists have attempted to analyze political phenomena in terms of the concept of collective goods. The work of these theorists can be divided into two principal streams. The first focuses on difficulties that occur when individuals attempt to supply themselves with a collective good. This stream, which encompasses the majority of existing analyses of collective goods, concentrates on difficulties arising from the free-rider problem and tendencies for the supply of the goods to be extremely suboptimal.¹ The second stream emphasizes the introduction of the concept of entrepreneurship to augment the explanatory power of the original models to...

  7. CHAPTER TWO The Consequences of Noncompetitive Politics
    (pp. 45-65)

    It is now possible to utilize the model formulated in Chapter One to derive a number of hypotheses about politics in noncompetitive situations.

    Personality differences may be important in explaining the behavior of political leaders. In the model, such differences are reflected in thebterm which was introduced, but not fully discussed, in the previous chapter.¹ At the simplest level, this term modifies the costs to a leader,A, of providing a collection organization and supplying collective goods.² Thus, without thebAterm, the cost of the collection organization and the collective goods is:

    [C(OA) +C(XA)] (2.1)


  8. CHAPTER THREE Competitive Politics
    (pp. 66-99)

    The fact that the role occupied by the political leaders is profitable will often be sufficient to motivate other members of the social structure to seek to obtain profits from the supply of collective goods.

    Micro-economic theory recognizes explicitly two types of competition among entrepreneurs who supply private goods to tap a pool of potential profits. First, an economic entrepreneur can compete by producing the same product that others produce with the objective of capturing a share of the market for the product in question. Second, such entrepreneurs may compete by differentiating their products from those of their competitors, thereby...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR Some Consequences of Political Competition
    (pp. 100-121)

    The extension of the model to cover situations involving political competition makes it possible to derive some propositions about a number of phenomena of interest to students of politics.

    The introduction of competition immediately generates new considerations affecting decisions by the members of the social structure concerning the use of their resources.

    In discussing voluntary contributions on the part of members of a social structure in previous chapters, we have assumed that each individual manipulates his fortunes by engaging in exchanges with leaders and aspiring leaders. This is possible because the leaders and aspiring leaders are willing to make concessions...

  10. CHAPTER FIVE Strategic Interaction
    (pp. 122-132)

    Although a number of consequences have been deduced from the model set forth in this book, we have frequently had to conclude that a determinate solution for a particular problem would require an analysis of strategic interaction. Thus, decisions concerning donations for the provision of a collective good, modifications of programs in the face of opposition, competition or collusion with a leader who taxes, choices of competitive tactics, and the allocation of support among competitors for leadership positions are all subject to the impact of strategic interaction.

    In this chapter, the occurrence of strategic interaction is shown to be a...

  11. CHAPTER SIX Conclusion
    (pp. 133-142)

    In the preceding chapters, we have analyzed each of the issues raised in the Introduction to this essay. As it stands, however, the theory is restricted in several important respects. Even though we have already been able to generalize the initial model considerably, the limitations on the theory as formulated in this book are still substantial. Nevertheless, there is no need for the model to be confined to its present form. In this final chapter, therefore, we wish to identify clearly the principal limitations on our theory in its present form and to comment on the prospects for reducing or...

  12. APPENDIX 1 The Size of Groups
    (pp. 145-150)
  13. APPENDIX 2 Table of Symbols
    (pp. 151-154)
  14. APPENDIX 3 Table of Equations
    (pp. 155-158)
  15. Index
    (pp. 159-161)