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An Overview of Rule Configurations

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Ostrom, Elinor
Date: 1983
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4525
Sector: Theory
Subject(s): rules
action research
institutional analysis--IAD framework
Abstract: From Page 1: "In an earlier paper entitled 'The Elements of An Action Situation,' I identified the generic elements of actions situations used by analysts to construct a wide variety of important types of analytical models including market, hierarchical, and bargaining models and formal games of all types. The elements are participants, positions, action sets, outcomes, information, control, and costs/benefits. They are related together in the following manner: <ul> <li> Participants are assigned to positions.</li> <li>Action sets are assigned to positions.</li> <li>Actions are linked to outcomes.</li> <li>Information is available about action/outcome linkages.</li> <li>Control is exercised over action/outcome linkages.</li> <li>Costs/benefits are assigned to action sets and outcome sets.</li> </ul> "Participants (who can be represented by alternative models) assigned to positions choose among actions in light of the information and control they have over action/outcome linkages and the rewards and/or costs assigned to actions and outcomes. "The relationships among the various parts of the action situation are represented within the circle on Figure 1. When an analyst takes each of these working parts as givens, no further inquiry is made as to the cause or source of a particular element. Using a particular model of the individual participant, the analyst predicts the likely outcomes and potentially evaluates the pattern of outcomes using suchcriteria as efficiency, equity, and error proneness. The analyst can construct two or more action situations in order to compare the predicted outcomes and evaluate which situation leads to the more preferred set of results. At this level of analysis, the analyst is limited in what can be said about how to create situations leading to a more preferred set of results or how to alter situations leading to adverse results so as to improve their performance."

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