Collective action and rationality models

  • Luis Miguel Miller Moya
    Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)


The Olsonian theory of collective action (Olson, 1965) assumes a model of economic rationality, based on a simple calculus between costs and benefits, that can be hardly hold at present, given the models of rationality proposed recently by several fields of research. In relation to these fields, I will concentrate in two specific proposals, namely: evolutionary game theory and, over all, the theory of bounded rationality. Both alternatives are specially fruitful in order to propose models that do not need a maximizing rationality, or environments of complete and perfect information. Their approaches, based on the possibility of individual learning over the time, have contributed to the analysis of the emergence of social norms, which is something really necessary to the resolution of problems related to cooperation. Thus, this article asserts that these two new theoretical contributions make feasible a fundamental advance in the study of collective action.


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Luis Miguel Miller Moya
Instituto de Estudios Sociales de Andalucía (IESA), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Córdoba (España).