Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Co-Production, Polycentricity, and Value Heterogeneity: The Ostroms’ Public Choice Institutionalism Revisited

  • PAUL DRAGOS ALIGICA (a1) and VLAD TARKO (a1)
Abstract

Revisiting the theory of institutional hybridity and diversity developed by Vincent and Elinor Ostrom to cope with the challenge of the “neither states nor markets” institutional domain, this article reconstructs the Ostromian system along the “value heterogeneity–co-production–polycentricity” axis. It articulates the elements of a theory of value heterogeneity and of the fuzzy boundaries between private and public. It rebuilds the model of co-production, clarifying the ambiguity surrounding a key technical public choice theoretical assumption, and it demonstrates (a) why it should not be confused with the Alchian-Demsetz team production model and (b) how co-production engenders a type of market failure that has been neglected so far. In light of this analysis, the article reconsiders polycentricity, the capstone of the Ostromian system, explaining why polycentricity may be seen as a solution both to this co-production market failure problem and to the problems of social choice in conditions of deep heterogeneity. It also discusses further normative corollaries.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Paul Dragos Aligica is Senior Research Fellow, George Mason University, Mercatus Center, 3351 N. Fairfax Dr., Arlington, VA 22201 (daligica@gmu.edu)
Vlad Tarko is a Ph.D. candidate, George Mason University, Department of Economics, 3301 N. Fairfax Dr., Ste. 450, Arlington, VA 22201 (vtarko@gmu.edu)
References
Hide All
Alchian, Armen A. 1950. “Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory.” Journal of Political Economy 58 (3): 211–21.
Alchian, Armen A., and Demsetz, Harold. (1972). “Production, Information Costs, and Economic Organization.” American Economic Review 62 (5): 777–95.
Aligica, Paul Dragos, and Boettke, Peter. 2009. Challenging Institutional Analysis and Development: The Bloomington School. New York: Routledge.
Aligica, Paul D., and Boettke, Peter J.. 2011. “The Two Social Philosophies of Ostroms’ Institutionalism.” Policy Studies Journal 39 (1): 2949.
Aligica, Paul D., and Tarko, Vlad. 2012. “Polycentricity: From Polanyi to Ostrom, and Beyond.” Governance 25 (2): 237–62.
Anderson, Terry, and Hill, Peter. 2001. The Technology of Property Rights. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Andreoni, James. 1990. “Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving.” Economic Journal 100 (401): 464–77.
Baier, Kurt, and Rescher, Nicholas. 1969. Values and the Future: The Impact of Technological Change on American Values. New York: Free Press.
Boettke, Peter J., Coyne, Christopher J., and Leeson, Peter T.. 2008. “Institutional Stickiness and the New Development Economics.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology 67 (2): 331–58.
Boettke, Peter J., Palagashvili, Liya, and Lemke, Jayme S. 2013. “Riding in Cars with Boys: Elinor Ostrom's Adventures with the Police.” Journal of Institutional Economics. doi:10.1017/S1744137413000118.
Boudreaux, Donald J., and Holcombe, Randall G.. 1989. “Government by Contract.” Public Finance Review 17 (3): 264–80.
Bozeman, Barry. 2002. “Public Value Failure: When Efficient Markets May Not Do.” Public Administration Review 62 (2): 145–61.
Bozeman, Barry. 2007. Public Values and Public Interest: Counterbalancing Economic Individualism. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
Brandsen, Taco, and Pestoff, Victor. 2006. “Co-Production, the Third Sector and the Delivery of Public Services.” Public Management Review 8 (4): 493501.
Brandsen, T, Pestoff, V., and Verschuere, B.. 2012. New Public Governance, the Third Sector and Co-Production. New York: Routledge.
Buchanan, James M. 1965. “An Economic Theory of Clubs.” Economica 32 (125): 114.
Buchanan, James M. [1968] 1999. The Demand and Supply of Public Goods. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.
Buchanan, James M., and Tullock, Gordon. [1962] 1999. The Calculus of Consent. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.
Burnheim, John. 2006. Is Democracy Possible? Sydney: Sydney University Press.
Crawford, Sue, and Ostrom, Elinor. 1995. “A Grammar of Institutions.” American Political Science Review 89 (3): 582600.
Dahl, Robert A. 1989. Democracy and Its Critics. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Gaus, Gerald. 2011. The Order of Public Reason: A Theory of Freedom and Morality in a Diverse and Bounded World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Jackson, John E., and King, David C.. 1989. “Public Goods, Private Interests, and Representation.” American Political Science Review 83 (4): 1143–64.
Jehle, Geoffrey A., and Reny, Philip J.. 2011. Advanced Microeconomic Theory, Vol. 3. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Jorgensen, Torben Beck, and Bozeman, Barry. 2007. “Public Values: An Inventory.” Administration & Society 39 (3): 354–81.
Knight, Jack, and Johnson, James. 2011. The Priority of Democracy: Political Consequences of Pragmatism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Kukathas, Chandran. 1999. The Liberal Archipelago. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Leeson, Peter T. 2011. “Government, Clubs, and Constitutions.” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 80 (2): 301–08.
Lynn, L. 2006. Public Management: Old and New. New York: Routledge.
McGinnis, Michael D., ed. 1999. Polycentricity and Local Public Economies: Readings from the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
McGinnis, Michael. 2011. “An Introduction to IAD and the Language of the Ostrom Workshop: A Simple Guide to a Complex Framework.” Policy Studies Journal 39 (1): 163–77.
McGinnis, Michael D., and Ostrom, Elinor. 2011. “Reflections on Vincent Ostrom, Public Administration, and Polycentricity.” Public Administration Review 72 (1): 1525.
Miller, Gary J. 1992. Managerial Dilemmas: The Political Economy of Hierarchy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Munger, Michael. 2010. “Endless Forms Most Beautiful and Most Wonderful: Elinor Ostrom and the Diversity of Institutions.” Public Choice 143 (3): 263–68.
Oakerson, Ronald J. 1999. Governing Local Public Economies: Creating the Civic Metropolis. Ithaca, NY: ICS Press,.
Oakerson, Ronald J., and Parks, Roger B.. 2011. “The Study of Local Public Economies: Multi-organizational, Multi-level Institutional Analysis and Development.” Policy Studies Journal 39 (1): 147–67.
Ostrom, Elinor. 1972. “Metropolitan Reform: Propositions Derived from Two Traditions.” Social Science Quarterly 53: 474–93.
Ostrom, Elinor. 1999. “Polycentricity, Complexity, and the Commons.” The Good Society 9 (2): 3741.
Ostrom, Elinor. 2005. Understanding Institutional Diversity. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Ostrom, Elinor. 2008. “Developing a Method for Analyzing Institutional Change.” In Alternative Institutional Structures: Evolution and Impact, eds Batie, S. and Mercuro, N.. Routledge.
Ostrom, Elinor. 2010. “Beyond Markets and States: Polycentric Governance of Complex Economic Systems.” American Economic Review 100 (3): 641–72.
Ostrom, Elinor, and Ostrom, Vincent. 2004. “The Quest for Meaning in Public Choice.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology 63 (1): 105–47.
Ostrom, Vincent. 1997. The Meaning of Democracy and the Vulnerabilities of Democracies: A Response to Tocqueville's Challenge. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Ostrom, Vincent. 1999. “Polycentricity (Part 1 and 2).” In Polycentricity and Local Public Economies, ed. McGinnis, Michael D.. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 5274 and 119–38.
Ostrom, Vincent, Bish, Robert, and Ostrom, Elinor. 1988. Local Government in the United States. Oakland, CA: ICS Press.
Parks, Roger B., Baker, P. C., Kiser, C., Oakerson, L. L., et al. 1981. “Consumers as Coproducers of Public Services: Some Economic and Institutional Considerations.” Policy Studies Journal 9: 1001–11.
Pennington, Mark. 2011. Robust Political Economy: Classical Liberalism and the Future of Public Policy. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Poteete, Amy R., Janssen, Marco A., and Ostrom, Elinor. 2010. Working Together: Collective Action, the Commons, and Multiple Methods in Practice. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Rozin, Paul. 1997. “Moralization.” In Morality and Health, eds. Brandt, Allan M. and Rozin, Paul, London: Routledge, 379402.
Rozin, Paul. 1999. “The Process of Moralization.” Psychological Science 10 (3): 218–21.
Sabetti, Filippo. 2008. “Normative and Empirical Inquiries into Systems of Governance.” In The Struggle to Constitute and Sustain Productive Orders, eds. Sproule-Jones, Mark, Allen, Barbara, and Sabetti, Filippo,. Lanham: Lexington Books, 310.
Searle, John. 1995. The Construction of Social Reality. New York: Free Press.
Searle, John. 2006. “Social Ontology: Some Basic Principles.” Anthropological Theory 6 (1): 1229.
Toonen, Theo. 2010. “Resilience in Public Administration: The Work of Elinor and Vincent Ostrom from a Public Administration Perspective.” Public Administration Review 70 (2): 193202.
Wagner, Richard E. 2005. “Self-Governance, Polycentrism, and Federalism: Recurring Themes in Vincent Ostrom's Scholarly Oeuvre.” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 57 (2): 173–88.
Winston, Clifford. 2006. Market Failure vs. Government Failure. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed