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Household Heterogeneity and Collective Action on the Commons

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Coleman, Eric A.; Andersson, Krister P.
Date: 2009
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7506
Sector: Forestry
Social Organization
Subject(s): heterogeneity
collective action
Abstract: "The study of group heterogeneity and how it affects human efforts to create collective goods for society remains one of the great puzzles in the social sciences. This paper seeks to move this research forward by explaining why existing studies reach inconsistent findings, proposing improved metrics of group heterogeneity, and testing some of the main theoretical predictions. Analyzing data from 1311 households across 23 villages in four countries, we find that the effect of heterogeneity is sensitive to the types of heterogeneity and collective action outcomes considered, but find no empirical support for Olson's hypothesis that heterogeneity positively affects human cooperation."

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