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Meeting at Grand CentralUnderstanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation$
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Lee Cronk and Beth L. Leech

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154954

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154954.001.0001

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The Logic of Logic, and Beyond

The Logic of Logic, and Beyond

(p.47) Chapter 3 The Logic of Logic, and Beyond
Meeting at Grand Central

Lee Cronk

Beth L. Leech

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines Mancur Olson's arguments, which he articulated in The Logic of Collective Action, and compares them with those of his supporters and detractors. It also reviews the social science literature on cooperation, focusing primarily on the theoretical and empirical research on collective action that grew out of Olson's challenge. According to Olson, the members of a group have interests in common. His logic was an economic logic, based on the behavior of firms in the marketplace in their quest for profits. Olson extended this logic of the market to human social behavior. The chapter considers Olson's solutions to the problem of free riding and the possibility that no group would ever form, including coercion, small groups, selective benefits, and the by-product theory of public goods provisioning. Finally, it describes some major extensions of and challenges to Olson's path-breaking model.

Keywords:   cooperation, Mancur Olson, The Logic of Collective Action, collective action, free riding, coercion, small groups, selective benefits, by-product theory, public goods

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