Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Is Hand Washing a Free Rider Problem?

Here are a couple of links to read about the free rider problem. The first is relatively straight forward and is nice beause it offers a variety of alternative solutions. Do note that the solutions make things better but none make things perfect. It turns out that is not possible, in general, though it may be possible in small enough groups.

The second is a more rigorous and scholarly explanation, pointing to the work of Mancur Olson, in particular and his pioneering book, The Logic of Collective Action. (Somewhere I have a copy if you want to borrow it.)

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