Understanding collective action: Matching behavior

Joel M. Guttman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


This paper develops an approach to understanding voluntary collective action. A simple model illustrating this approach predicts Pareto optimal provision of a nonexcludable public good in the case of identical actors with perfect information, regardless of the number of actors. In this approach, actors voluntarily subsidize each other's contributions to the provision of a public good. Each actor individually finds it optimal to match other actors' contributions dollar for dollar, and this matching behavior leads to a Pareto optimal
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-255
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes


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