Olson Mancur - Political Economy Of Interest Groups   Cover Image

Mancur Olson: Politička ekonomija interesnih grupa
Olson Mancur - Political Economy Of Interest Groups

Author(s): Tonči Kursar
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Fakultet političkih znanosti u Zagrebu

Summary/Abstract: The author discusses the basic structure of Mancur Olson's political economy. He highlights three concepts on which it is based - public goods, interest groups, and selective incentives. The last concept represents Olson's innovation in contemporary political science. The author's central methodical assumption is based on the insight that Olson's key theory is linked with the so-called public goods paradox. Unlike private goods, public goods are non-competitive and non-exclusive, which means that it is not possible to bar those who do not share the costs of their production from using them. On the basis of this, Olson has developed the original theory of interest groups. By looking into the costs of organizing along interest lines as a collective activity whose result is a public good, he distinguishes between large, heterogeneous, and small, homogeneous groups. Besides, he has shown that, regarding public goods, individuals tend to behave as free riders, defaulters who try to avoid the costs of securing these goods. The author shows that Olson has, notwithstanding certain flimsiness of his reductionist methodology, significantly revamped political science.

  • Issue Year: XXXIV/1997
  • Issue No: 02
  • Page Range: 192-202
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: Croatian