Born on January 22nd, 1932 with Large Forks, North Dakota - February 19th, 1998, Mancur Olson is a economist and a Sociologue of the United States.
Known mainly for its two works the logic of the class action suit (1966, English publication 1971) and The Rise and Declines off Nations (1982), it is among the large theorists of the public choice (theory of the public choice) the only one with sparing a big role in the State.
Graduate in economic scenes ( North Dakota State University )
- Doctor of economic scenes (University of Harvard)
- Teaching in economic scenes with the University of Princeton then to the University of Maryland.
It founds in 1990 the Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector with the Université of Maryland.
the logic of the class action suit
By being based on an approach of the methodological Individualism, Mancur Olson develops a microsociologic theory aiming at explaining how the individuals organize themselves to carry out a common objective. Olson limits its work to the economic Organization S.
It builds, for needs for its demonstration Taxonomy for groups and particularly class that it names “groups latent” (group made up of a great number of individuals where it is easy to be withdrawn from the collective effort), main objects of its study.
The second idea forces theory of the class action suit relates to the cost and the benefit of this action. For Olson, any class action suit has a cost for the individual (engagement, taken of risk, waste of time, invested money…) and of the benefit or advantages obtained by the class action suit (social protection, pay rise, employment…).
However there exists a tendency for the members of a group to benefit from the benefit of a class action suit while seeking to pay the minimum cost, to even escape the cost from this action. Larger is the group and more this tendency is important. It is the phenomenon of the Stowaway (in English free to wrinkle ).
Mancur Olson states this Hypothèse then (Paradoxe of Olson):
the great groups can remain unorganized and never not pass to the action even if a consensus on the objectives and the means exists.
More precisely, more one group is numerous, more the probability that it passes to the act is weak because the marginal contribution of one member to the success of the group is decreasing:
As the relatively small groups is frequently able to organize on the basis it voluntariate and to act as conformity with their shared interests and than the great groups are not in the whole able that point to reach, the exit of the political combat which opposes the rival groups is not symmetrical… The smallest groups often succeed in beating largest which, in a democracy, would be naturally supposed to carry it. |Logical Mancur Olson, of the class action suit , PUF
Example: two people, has and B, are cotisent to make build a swimming pool. If one does not pay, the swimming pool will be small. If none pays, the manufacturer will refuse to make the swimming pool. In this play, the utilities of each one are represented. The utility is negative (desutility) if it pays whereas the other did not pay (it hoped to have a beautiful swimming pool, it has only one half swimming pool!)
NB: with the vertical, agent A. is.
The logical solution of this play, by dominant strategy, is the solution (0/0).
Solutions with the problem arising
It will be then necessary to set up constraining or coercive actions to allow the realization or the safeguarding of an organization. This theory, based on the logic of a rational actor makes it possible to include/understand and explain an absence of mobilization or resistance; it is much less relevant to analyze the opposite phenomenon when the standards the values take an essential share.
According to Olson, there exists a " group privilégié" , i.e. a group which has a Mécène in order to carry the class action suit in its term (with the difference in the other groups where execution of the action is not certain). Thus, in his logic, only the Patron will pay and all the other members will be stowaway (free to wrinkle).
The solution of the play is thus (15/5).
to sanction nonthe payment
The agent, when it does not pay, has only 5 of utility (when the other pay). The sanction can be social, pécunière etc Thus, the solution by dominant strategy is (10/10).
selective Intérêt (of German, Selektive Anreize ) the payers will have the less expensive good and/or of better quality because there will be a joint purchase (let us recall that, economic logic, all the groups are in outputs of scale growing, therefore profit marginal to each increase in the production).
The solution, always in dominant strategy, is (16/16). For our example, the swimming pool will be larger if the 2 cotisent. Thus they will have more satisfaction (it is their choice!) while paying with all the blows to have a beautiful swimming pool, to have a small swimming pool, even if only one paid it.
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