Economics and groups: methodological individualism and collective action

  • Anna Ząbkowicz Polish Academy of Sciences


Research background: Paradoxically enough, a large body of contemporary research relies on methodological individualism in order to explain collective activities and decision making. The mainstream of economic theories hardly gives any background to the issue of group activities.

Purpose of the article: The aim of this paper is to investigate which economic theories have addressed the problem of collective action, and how social scientists deal with it contemporarily.

Methods: Consequently, the research relies on the study of heterodox literature concerned with the subject, referring to original works of most respected authors. The review is carried on systematically, respecting two competing approaches regarding methods and social philosophy.

Findings and Value added: Studies on collective action are a domain of institutionalism, the "old" one and the "new" one. Have it both ways, institutionalist studies are rather imperfect in explaining this crucial phenomenon of economic reality.

Mar 31, 2017
How to Cite
Ząbkowicz, A. (2017). Economics and groups: methodological individualism and collective action. Oeconomia Copernicana, 8(1), 7-20. doi:10.24136/oc.v8i1.1