Economics Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
Mause I 413f
Politics/Collective Action/Olson: According to a 1965 (1) thesis by Mancur Olson on collective action, there is an asymmetry in the organisational and conflict capacity of business and environmental associations.
VsOlson: the situation of environmental associations is not quite as it should be according to Olson's logic. Protest as a central form of action has lost importance in the last 20 years. (Roose, 2009, p. 111) (2) The asymmetries mentioned above have also eased (von Winter, 2001, p. 218) (3)
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Brocker I 486
Politics/Olson: Thesis: The interests of small groups are overrepresented in political competition. "The high degree of organisation of entrepreneurial interests and the power of these entrepreneurial interests must be largely due to the fact that entrepreneurs are spread across a large number of (generally oligopolistic) 'industries', each comprising only a fairly small number of companies" (4). See Collectives/Olson, Communicative Action/Olson, Power/Olson: smaller groups behave much differently according to Olson. In particular, smaller groups can be better controlled by selective incentives.
Problem: large groups are always in danger of being exploited by smaller groups: For example, agricultural migrant workers, employees, taxpayers, consumers: these groups usually have no organization "that could oppose the power of organized or monopolistic producers". (5)


Johannes Marx, „Mancur Olson, Die Logik des kollektiven Handelns“, in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018



1. Mancur Olson, The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups (Revised ed.). Harvard University Press 1965.
2. Jochen Roose, Unterstützungslogik und Informationslogik. Zu zwei Formen der Interessenvertretung im Umweltbereich. In Interessenvermittlung in Politikfeldern, Hrsg. Britta Rehder, Thomas Winter und Ulrich Willems, 109– 131. Wiesbaden 2009.
3.Thomas von Winter, Verbändemacht im kooperativen Staat. In Zukunft der Demokratie in Deutschland, Hrsg. Andrea Gourd und Thomas Noetzel, 211– 234. Opladen 2001.
4. Mancur Olson, The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, Cambridge, Mass. 1965. Dt.: Mancur Olson, Die Logik des kollektiven Handelns: Kollektivgüter und die Theorie der Gruppen, Tübingen 1998 (zuerst 1968)., S. 141.
5.Ibid. p. 163.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

EconOlson I
Mancur Olson
The logic of collective action: Public goods and the theory of groups Cambridge 1965

Mause I
Karsten Mause
Christian Müller
Klaus Schubert,
Politik und Wirtschaft: Ein integratives Kompendium Wiesbaden 2018

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018


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