Cover of The Political Economy of Collective Action, Inequality, and Development by William D. Ferguson
The Political Economy of Collective Action, Inequality, and Development
William D. Ferguson


May 2020
448 pages.
30% off with code JAN2020

Cloth ISBN: 9781503604612



This book examines how a society that is trapped in stagnation might initiate and sustain economic and political development. In this context, progress requires the reform of existing arrangements, along with the complementary evolution of informal institutions. It involves enhancing state capacity, balancing broad avenues for political input, and limiting concentrated private and public power. This juggling act can only be accomplished by resolving collective-action problems (CAPs), which arise when individuals pursue interests that generate undesirable outcomes for society at large. Merging and extending key perspectives on CAPs, inequality, and development, this book constructs a flexible framework to investigate these complex issues. By probing four basic hypotheses related to knowledge production, distribution, power, and innovation, William D. Ferguson offers an analytical foundation for comparing and evaluating approaches to development policy. Navigating the theoretical terrain that lies between simplistic hierarchies of causality and idiosyncratic case studies, this book promises an analytical lens for examining the interactions between inequality and development. Scholars and researchers across economic development and political economy will find it to be a highly useful guide.

About the author

William D. Ferguson is the Gertrude B. Austin Professor of Economics at Grinnell College. He is the author of Collective Action and Exchange: A Game Theoretic Approach to Contemporary Political Economy (Stanford, 2013).